There’s never a convenient time for a hurricane or a convenient time to prepare for one. With hurricane season just around the corner, the University of Florida/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office is offering you the opportunity to participate in an educational event to help you better prepare for a storm. Join us for a free hurricane preparedness program being offered from 5:30-8pm May 29th at the Emergency Operations Center.

The Preparing for a Storm program will focus on preparation methods for the upcoming hurricane season. Topics include homeowner’s insurance, storm-resilient landscapes, home preparation, managing pets during a storm, clean-up safety and special information for military families. Okaloosa Emergency Management and UF Extension faculty will present information and displays. Extension staff members Larry Williams and Sheila Dunning will be sharing tips on developing a storm-resilient landscape, and Jennifer Bearden will share strategies for pet/animal care during a storm. Ken Wolfe, emergency management coordinator, will discuss local procedures and resources before, during and after a storm.

As part of the educational displays, we will showcase a University of Florida/IFAS Extension Disaster Preparation/Recovery Mobile Unit. This portable trailer houses an impressive inventory of recovery items to help provide you ideas on things you might want to have on hand during and following a hurricane or other disaster. Have you thought about portable file storage to quickly store and transport your important papers? Have you seen a hand-crank radio or a wind-up flashlight? Have you included a way to filter water in your family emergency kit? What about a pet evacuation kit and items for children to occupy their time and keep them more comfortable following a hurricane such as games, coloring books and a handheld battery powered fan? In addition to large items such as chainsaws and generators, have you considered smaller items such as sunscreen, insect repellent and sanitizing wipes? These items and more will provide ideas and help you develop your own personal recovery inventory.

The Emergency Operations Center is on the Northwest Florida State College Campus in Niceville, 90 College Blvd. E. Take the west entrance, which is the entrance closest to the sports complex. The EOC building will be to your right.

To pre-register for this free program or for further information, call the Okaloosa County Extension Office at 689-5850.

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