Isaac Comes to Call
Islanders are keeping a watchful eye on the Caribbean as Isaac makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico and a possible Florida landfall.
The Town of Fort Myers Beach had lines for re-entry passes on Thursday morning. If you do not yet have a Town re-entry pass, get to Town Hall today (Friday) between 8:30am-4:30pm and get one. Bring a photo ID and proof of residency (tax bill for owners; lease or landlord letter and utility bill for renters). More info on passes and how to sign up for the Town's reverse 911 or emergency notification system can be found on the Town's website fortmyersbeachfl.gov under "For Islanders”> ”Emergency.”
Town Manager Terry Stewart wants residents to know that the controversial re-entry issue has been recognized and solved. The Town's re-entry program identifies Island residents and businesses and allows re-entry as soon as the island has been checked for safety. Assessment teams will check the island immediately after a storm, identifying safe and unsafe areas.
"Unsafe areas will be blocked off but residents will be allowed back onto the island. Residents shouldn't worry about re-entry.”
Lee County Emergency Operations Center is at Activation Level 3. They are monitoring Isaac and have begun initial storm preparations. They ask that residents review hurricane plans and monitor local weather and NOAA Weather Radio. Check supplies. Lee County has developed an app for iPhones and Androids called LeeEvac, that provides evacuation zones and shelter information in Lee County. Links to the apps can be found at leeeoc.com along with other storm information.
Fort Myers Beach Fire District Lt. Randy Kraus wants residents to know that the District has hurricane information links on their website fmbfire.org.
"Once we are in the 72 hour window, we'll start driving the island and looking for target hazards-buildings that can do damage to surrounding buildings in high winds- and notify the owners.
"My advice to residents is ‘Be Prepared.' Once we're in the 5 day cone, you should be prepared. We may not get hit by this storm, but you should at least have a plan in place.”
Kraus mentioned that should a storm cause damage on the island, the POD or Point of Distribution, has changed. This is the site where federal agencies provide ice, water, tarps, etc. The new POD is on Crescent Street in the parking lot behind Helmerich Plaza.
Whether this is your first or tenth hurricane, take a few moments to look at the Storm Notices provided by the Town of Fort Myers Beach that follow this article.
NOTICE TO BEACH
BUSINESSES AND VENDORS:
All beach chairs, cabanas, jet skis, and parasail equipment, along with booths, must be evacuated within 8 hours of the issuance of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Warning for this area.
Times Square Merchants: All outdoor tables and chairs must be securely stowed indoors or moved off the island within 8 hours of the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning for this area.
All other businesses: Properly secure and stow all outdoor furniture, displays, and any removable signage within 8 hours of the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning.
Businesses with dry-floodproofing methods: Be sure to activate your dry-floodproofing techniques. Failure to do so can invalidate your flood insurance policy.
NOTICE TO BEACH RESIDENTS:
Obtain re-entry pass from Town Hall.
Review your tropical storm/hurricane evacuation plans in anticipation of the arrival of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.
Lee County has posted all primary evacuation routes with blue and white signs.
Evacuation time for the Town could be as long as 18 hours.
Evacuation plan should provide for your pets, personal hurricane supplies (food, medicine, etc.), proper identification, insurance papers and important documents.
Keep a battery-powered radio tuned in to local stations, and if an evacuation order is given, comply with it. If the evacuation turns out to be unnecessary, leaving the Island is better than risking the potential loss of life by staying.
When preparing your home prior to evacuation, turn off all the electricity (except power to your refrigerator).
Turn off the water supply to your home to prevent any contaminated water from backing up into your home.
ible, board up your windows to protect them from flying debris.
Elevate furniture and other valuables to improve chances they'll stay dry in a flood.
Avoid driving through flood-prone areas while evacuating.
If you stay in your home, use common sense: avoid downed power lines, do not use open flames or generators in enclosed spaces, and consume only safe and sealed foods and liquids.
Notice to contractors on Fort Myers Beach:
Please check Town website for a Storm Preparedness Checklist