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</head> Don’t get caught in the storm: Be prepared!
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Updated: 07/10/2013 08:03:11AM

Don’t get caught in the storm: Be prepared!

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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We are merely a month into the hurricane season which started June 1. This year is predicted to be a very active season in the tropics for storms. In fact, as I am writing this article, we have a tropical storm brewing in the Atlantic with projections of coming close to the mainland of Florida.

For those of us who have lived in Florida all of our lives, chances are you have dealt with hurricanes before. If you live in Bartow, it was not so very long ago that you dealt with several, i.e. 2004. You don’t have to live on the coast to be affected … hurricanes can affect property deep inland with high winds, tornadoes and heavy rainfall. Now is the time to prepare.

We should all have a plan throughout the season. Once a storm hits, there will be several days before outside assistance is available. Prepare early by having a plan: Know your evacuation routes and shelters, put together a family emergency kit and a communications plan complete with enough food and water to last each member three days, secure your property both inside and out, don’t leave furniture out, make sure that you have trimmed your trees and hedges appropriately, and secure boats or other recreational vehicles in a safe place. Prior to the storm making landfall, the Bartow Police Department and the Fire Department will be making every effort to keep the residents informed and aware of what to expect. Certainly, you will be seeing police officers or firefighters, if there is an evacuation order issued for your neighborhood.

It is important that you make these plans ahead of time because during landfall most emergency personnel will be unable to get to you due to the conditions. You can also find more tips like these by visiting If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the Bartow Police Department.

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