SCC: CA has a plan

Published on: June 7, 2018

CA to members: ‘Be prepared. Have a plan’

By PHYLLIS HODGES

Sun City Center Community Association Manager Lyn Reitz can say with certainty that many Sun City Center residents were totally unprepared last year when Hurricane Irma threatened. Many of them called her office. 

June 1 ushered in the hurricane season and led many CA members to Community Hall for a CA Hurricane Preparedness meeting.
BILL HODGES PHOTO

An open forum at Community Hall on June 1 may have helped to shift the mindset of many CA members.  

Reitz, along with Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Merry, reiterated that Sun City Center is not in an evacuation zone (storm surge danger). That means your home is the safest place to weather a storm and getting on crowded roads is not a good option. She reminded members that they will not have access to CA buildings. Hillsborough County, however, has contracted with the CA to base first responders on the Central Campus and utilize the radio club’s capabilities.   

Tips offered by Reitz, Merry and the audience ranged from the general — prepare and have a plan — to specifics. Among them: 1) Tell neighbors and family your plan for leaving or staying. 2) Secure anything outside that could be blown around. 3) Stock food, water, pet supplies, medications, etc. 4) Gather documents you will take if you leave. 5) Plan for functioning without electric, e.g., manual can opener, propane for the grill, ice in large containers, etc. 6) Keep your gas tank full. 7) Have contact information for handymen/contractors available in case you need them after the storm. 8) Clubrooms — remove window displays and secure room merchandise/equipment. 9) Register at CA office for e-mail messages. 10) Charge golf cart batteries. 11) During power outages, keep items used most in coolers to avoid opening refrigerator. 12) Follow recommended precautions for generators, i.e., away from home and properly ventilated. 13) Have cash on hand.  

Merry clarified that emergency services will not be available with sustained winds of 35 mph. He called Irma “a good trial run for the community” when it caused fallen trees, power outages and business closures.    

Residents with special needs who choose to evacuate will be accepted at the USF Sun Dome, but preregistration is required. Riverview High School may also accept special needs evacuees, but admittance isn’t guaranteed since that facility is a backup for Tampa General Hospital. Call Hillsborough County at 813-307-8063, for more information.

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