Don’t wait until Marco Island is in the “cone of probability” of an approaching hurricane to prepare yourself and your home for hurricane season! You remember that dreaded term from past hurricane seasons!
The National Hurricane Center has been naming storms since 1953. At first the list contained only “female” names! Can you imagine? But in 1979 under the title of equality, the names began alternating between male and female names. Now that’s more like it! What names are on the list for hurricanes and tropical storms for 2009? Here goes: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda. Are any of your family members’ names listed? You always knew he or she could classify as a “hurricane!” Just kidding.
MICA has taken steps to prepare a hurricane plan for the Marco Island Residents’ Beach and Sarazen Park and has installed hurricane shutters on the buildings. Prior to the thick of hurricane season, trees will be given a hurricane cut if appropriate. If it appears that a hurricane is heading our way, staff will move as much equipment indoors as possible and tie down large pieces that are too big or bulky to be moved.
As for individuals living on Marco Island, let’s all think and plan ahead and not wait for Hurricane Odette to be barreling toward us. Put together a hurricane kit now that would include all medications and other medical needs. Of course, you’re familiar with all the basics in the kit — batteries, water, non-perishable food, etc., etc.
Look around your home, inside and out. Have a dry run, consider how you will secure your boat and other outdoor items. Don’t forget to make plans for Fido and Hoby Cat! (How could you forget?)
If an evacuation is called for, there may be other items you’d want to take from your home. My friends still kid me about what filled the back of my car when we evacuated for Hurricane Wilma in 2005 — my photo albums! Along with family members and our dog, I brought along photo albums and a couple boxes of pictures that simply could not be replaced.
In case of evacuation, residents of Marco should have a current resident sticker in order to re-enter the island. You should keep the sticker in your glove compartment and if needed, place it on your front driver’s side bumper. The most current sticker has no expiration date on it and is available at the MICA office, the Fire Department and City Hall.
There are many local Hurricane Preparedness manuals that offer invaluable information regarding preparing for a hurricane. It might be a good idea to read through the manual one more time to be sure your kit is up to date.
Hopefully, all of our precautionary measures will be for naught and Marco Island will not be in the path of any named storms this season. Let’s all say a prayer to God and thank the Indians for choosing such a special place, too!