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After a quiet June and July, the tropics are starting to become more active. Forecasts call for a LESS active hurricane season this year, due in part to El Nino in the Pacific. However, it is always a good idea to check your hurricane preparedness at this time of the season. (Remember that the more active part of the season for Naples is September and October).
Check that your important papers are together. Make a box or file folder with your social security cards, insurance papers, financial records and property information. If you have pets, be ready to take their essentials such as immunization records, medications, bed, toys, and a few day’s supply of food where you can grab it to go. Keep some cash and your atm card ready to go also.
Plan in advance where you would go if it looks like a storm is coming our way. You might want to stay home for a tropical storm or a Category one hurricane, especially if you have secured your property with storm shutters and have adequate food and water on hand. However, you should always heed the suggested evacuation orders.
If you leave home due to a direct landfall storm such as Wilma (coming toward Naples from the Gulf of Mexico), the best idea is to go east across 75 to Broward County. There will be shelters set up there with blue signs directing you to them. You can also search ahead of time or even make a reservation ahead of time for a hotel or motel which might be more pleasant than a shelter. Some will take pets; be sure to ask if you will be bringing a pet. If the storm is coming across the state, like Andrew, you should evacuate north to Lee County, or even go into the center part of the state until things calm down here. Again your choices are the shelters (which will not take pets) or making private reservations with a hotel.
You should plan to have some clothes, medicines, a flashlight, toilet paper, wet wipes, crackers, canned goods, can opener, and any over-the-counter remedies you use regularly. Also a deck of cards and a couple of books you’ve been meaning to read can help to pass the time. Most important, follow official orders and STAY SAFE!

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