Stay sheltered in place inside your home, business or even a lodge. do not for any reason go outdoors or attempt to travel anywhere unless you are specifically ordered to evacuate by government order. The police, fire and EMS are busy responding to other emergency situations and they cannot immediately respond if something happens.
DO NOT CALL 911 unless you have an actual emergency, the Sheriff's office, EMS and Fire Departments as well as state, county and local officials are dealing with many situations and cannot waste time talking to someone who does not have an emergency.
The following is a list of items you should have for your hurricane preparedness kit:
• A permanently installed or portable generator with at least two weeks worth of gasoline or diesel fuel because in the event that your power company i.e. Duke Energy, Lakeland or Tampa Electric advises you that restoration of power will not be immediate you can depend on having some power to light your home and keep your food or other perishables cool. You should not run your air conditioning system because it uses an exorbitant amount of fuel and you could end up in the dark quicker than you think.
• An All-Hazards radio that can receive NOAA Weather Radio on the frequencies of 162.400 thru 162.550 MHz (Based on NOAA weather radio transmitter location) and/or using a desktop or portable analog or digital radio scanner which is capable of receiving these frequencies and NOAA broadcasts by automatically or by manual input.
• Make sure you have plenty of batteries in stock, especially AA, AAA and 9V.
• Stock up on food for both you, your family and your pets. Once the hurricane hits very likely all of the supermarkets, Walmart, Costco etc... will be closed for the duration.
• At least two cell phone and if possible each with a different carrier such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and/or Verizon. At least one of those phone should be have a data plan so that you can access the Internet either from the phone and/or from your desktop, iPad, laptop or tablet using the phone's Wi-Fi Hotspot function.
• Make sure that your vehicles are fully fueled in the event that the Governor declares a State of Emergency and you are required to make a mandatory evacuation from your home. If a State of Emergency is declared gas stations will very likely be closed.
Finally, after the hurricane event if you find yourself in distress please contact Bro. Rick Schwarz in the 21st Masonic District office who will make the appropriate notifications. Our contact information can be found here. We will do everything we can to assist you.