• Providing Emergency Service For Your Community
  • Expedient and Efficient Service
  • Providing Qualified Professionals to Assist You
Introduction
Hurricane Awareness
Residents Choice Of Action Before A Hurricane Strikes
What To Do If You Stay In Your Unit
What To Do If You Choose To Evacuate
Some Actions To Take After The Storm Passes
Emergency Operations Plan
Management & Maintenance Staff Responsibilities
Pinellas County Emergency Shelters

Introduction

This Emergency Operations "Plan" is a comprehensive action plan, initiated by your association’s Board of Directors, to prepare the facilities and grounds for an impending emergency.The Plan is designed to assist owners and residents in protecting personal property and lives. This Plan, mandated by Florida Statutes, Section 553.509(2), is based on the full cooperation of the owners, residents, maintenance and housekeeping personnel, as well as the property management staff. Knowledge of potential risks and awareness of what to do in the event of an emergency situation will promote the ability of the community to deal with a hurricane, natural or man-made disaster.

In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, view local broadcast television, check internet links and/or tune your battery-operated radio to a local station to obtain as much information as possible.

DISCLAIMER: Although the Association has attempted in good faith to provide owners and other residents with information to assist you in understanding some of the steps involved in planning for and reacting to an emergency situation, this Plan is not intended as advice as to what any individuals should do in preparation for, or in response to, a major storm or other emergency. There is considerable information available from other sources, and you need to consult your own financial, legal and other advisors to determine what actions you should take. The Association disclaims any responsibility for the actions which you may take in reliance on the information provided in this Plan, and advises you not to rely upon this Plan in connection with these important life-safety decisions.
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Hurricane Awareness

All residents, whether they are owners or guests, need to be aware of the hurricane season and what to do in the case of a hurricane.

Hurricane season is from June 1 through November 30. A hurricane is an intense low-pressure system, which rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and generates winds in excess of 74 miles per hour.

Category 1: 74-95 mph winds
Category 2: 96-110 mph winds
Category 3: 111-130 mph winds
Category 4: 131- 155 mph winds
Category 5: over 155 mph winds

Warnings and Advisories

  • Tropical Depression: A disturbance with a clearly defined low-pressure area; highest wind speed is 38 mph.
  • Tropical Storm: A distinct low-pressure area defined by a counterclockwise rotating circulation; winds of 39 – 73 mph.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: An alert for a specific area that a tropical storm may pose a threat within the next 36 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: An alert that tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 39 -73 mph, are expected in specific areas within 24 hours.
  • Hurricane: Once a tropical storm’s wind speed reaches 74 mph or greater, it is classified as a hurricane.
  • Hurricane Watch: An alert for specific areas that hurricane conditions pose a threat to an area within the next 36 hours.
  • Hurricane Warning: An alert that hurricane conditions are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours. All precautions should be completed immediately.
  • Evacuation Order: Issued by local Emergency Operations Management, this order instructs residents in various predetermined evacuation levels to vacate the area.
The storm surge that accompanies a hurricane is a huge wall of water pushed inland by a hurricane and this is generally what causes the most destruction. The storm surge is blamed for an average of nine out of every 10 hurricane related fatalities. According to the hurricane center, the ocean surface under the storm's center is drawn upward like water in a giant straw forming a mound a foot higher than the ocean. As this mound nears the coast it can grow to become a storm surge 50 miles wide and 20 feet high.

Ten-foot high hurricane-generated waves on top of the storm surge can crash into coastal areas, which are less than 10 feet above sea level along most of the Gulf and Atlantic States. Water weighs about 1,700 pounds per cubic yard, so the storm surge and waves can demolish a building designed to withstand wind but not water.

Tornadoes spawned from a hurricane often touch down where the eye of the storm crosses the coast, or directly to the east, licking the land with deadly winds exceeding hurricane force. High winds and heavy rains can be expected about 50 miles to the east and 75 miles to the west of where a hurricane eye passes.

The eye of the hurricane is its center, a “hole in the clouds”, and it is created by air being forced down in the middle by the low pressure and up around the eye-wall by the heat of the storm. Storm experts say that when the eye of the hurricane passes directly over an area, there could be minutes or even hours of calm and partly sunny skies before the wind and rain come again. There is danger for people who leave their homes when the eye passes over because the returning wind can be even stronger.

A hurricane rapidly looses its strength when it leaves the ocean’s heat and meets friction over land but it can carry torrential rain and wind for several days. With this knowledge, residents should determine their course of action BEFORE the storm is imminent.

When a “hurricane watch” is issued for West Central Florida, it does not mean that a hurricane will strike the area. It means that residents should prepare as there is a good chance the area will be hit with hurricane-force winds and rain within the next 24 to 36 hours. A hurricane watch is intended to provide people living on barrier islands and low-lying areas with enough time to seek safety.

Coastal residents should decide, before an actual hurricane watch is issued, what they will do in the event a severe storm threatens their area. By the time weather officials can predict the actual strike-path of the storm, it could be too late for procrastinating coastal residents to flee from danger. The following web sites can provide up-to-the-minute information on hurricane forecasting, evacuation routes, as well as public shelters that are open and what services they provide:

Pinellas County Emergency: www.pinellascounty.org/emergency
National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov
Office of Climate, Water & Weather: www.nws.noaa.gov
Federal Emergency Management: www.fema.gov
Channel 8 (NBC): www.tbo.com
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Residents Choice of Action Before a Hurricane Strikes

There are three primary choices of action when a hurricane threatens:

  1. Stay in your unit (a mandatory evacuation may be ordered).
  2. Move inland to stay with a friend or relative.
  3. Go to a public shelter.
You should decide which of the above courses of action you will take BEFORE a hurricane threatens and inform family members.

The decision by local officials to order an evacuation is a touchy situation because meteorologists cannot accurately predict where a hurricane will strike until about 12 hours before landfall. Evacuation of West Central Florida coastal residents to safer inland areas could take more than 30 hours in a very serious storm situation.

Post-storm conditions should also be considered when deciding what course of action to take. Utilities will likely be interrupted for days after a hurricane strike. More than likely, there will be no telephones, electricity, water or sewer services. Other local services, such as fire and emergency medical services, will be overwhelmed and hampered by access problems. Elevators may not be operational.

What to do if you stay in your unit


If a Mandatory Evacuation is Not Ordered


  1. Stay indoors.
  2. Stay on the side of the unit AWAY from the wind. As the wind direction changes, move accordingly. The utility room or bathrooms may be the safest rooms during the storm.
  3. Stay away from windows and glass doors.
  4. Don’t go outside during the calm that accompanies the “eye” as it passes.
  5. Listen to the radio for information from official government sources.
  6. Use the telephone ONLY for emergencies.
  7. Conserve battery power.
  8. Stay inside until an “All Clear” signal is issued by local officials.
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Some Items To Have On Hand If You Stay


  1. Flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
  2. A battery-operated weather radio
  3. Bottled beverages
  4. Water
  5. Canned food
  6. A manual can opener
  7. First-aid supplies
  8. Medication(s)
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Some Preparations For Your Unit If You Stay


  1. Clean the bath-tub with bleach, rinse and fill it with water for drinking.
  2. Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings.
  3. Deploy storm shutters and install extra supports and/or braces as needed.
  4. Make sure your automobile has a full tank of gasoline.
  5. Store all patio furniture, plants and outdoor items inside the unit. When caught in the wind, loose items can become lethal projectiles
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What to do if you choose to evacuate


  1. Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings BEFORE leaving. Remove perishable items and take them with you.
  2. Shut off the main breaker in your electrical panel.
  3. Shut off your water supply.
  4. Store all patio furniture, plants and outdoor items inside.
  5. Make sure your automobile has a full tank of gasoline.
  6. Lock your doors and leave a spare key with someone you trust.
  7. It is recommended that you make a photographic record of your property and personal belongings and keep it in a safe place for insurance purposes.
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Some Items You Should Bring To A Public Shelter


  1. Valuable documents and identification tags
  2. Non-perishable food to last you and your family at least 24 hours. (Suggestions: canned meat or fish, cheese, ready-to-eat soups, peanut butter, dry cereals, bread, crackers, canned beverages, pet food if you are taking your pet with you to a pet-friendly shelter, etc.)
  3. Drinking water for 24 hours (2 gallons per person) in plastic containers
  4. Manually operated can and bottle openers
  5. Eating utensils
  6. First aid supplies, medicines, and special items such as baby formula and diapers. If items require refrigeration, take a small cooler.
  7. Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, cots or lounge chairs to sleep on
  8. Battery-operated radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
  9. Extra clothes
  10. Personal hygiene items
  11. Toys for children, card games and books
  12. Plastic trash bags
  13. Pets can only be accommodated only in specific shelters and you must pre-register to take them (see attached Forms). Check the Pinellas County Emergency web site or call 727/464-3800 before taking your pet.
  14. If you have special medical needs, you also must pre-register. Check the Pinellas County Emergency web site or call 727/464-3800 to make arrangements.
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Some actions to take after the storm passes


  1. Listen to the public radio, television, or NOAA weather radio stations.
  2. Keep abreast of road conditions through the media; wait until an area is declared “safe” before entering.
  3. Do NOT attempt to drive across flowing water; as little as 6 inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle; water two feet deep will carry away most cars. If you see water flowing across a roadway, TURN AROUND AND GO THE OTHER WAY. Many people have been killed or injured driving through flooded roadways or around barricades; roads are closed for your protection.
  4. Stay away from moving water.
  5. Do not allow children, especially under age 13, to play in flooded areas; they often drown or are injured in areas appearing safe.
  6. If someone needs to be rescued, call professionals with the appropriate equipment to help.
  7. Many people have been killed or injured trying to rescue others in flooded areas.
  8. Stay away from standing water. It may be electrically charged due to downed power lines or broken underground cables.
  9. Have professionals check your gas, water, and electrical lines and appliances for damage.
  10. Use a flashlight for emergency lighting; never use candles or other open flames indoors.
  11. Use tap water for drinking and cooking ONLY when local officials have declared it to be safe.
  12. Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
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Emergency Operations Plan

Under the direction of your association’s Board of Directors, a pre-designated Committee will assist the maintenance staff in securing the property. The Committee chairperson should organize the members and volunteers and, if possible, one person from each building should participate. If a storm threatens, a pre-storm meeting of the Committee should be held to organize maintenance staff and volunteers as to their duties. One person should be designated to have full power and authority to implement emergency post-event contracts for:

Emergency services
Security from vandalism
Removal of debris
Engineering or other professional services needed for emergency recovery
As soon as access is available and all danger has passed, management and maintenance staff will report to the property to assess damages and take corrective action.

An inspection of the common property shall be conducted, necessary maintenance noted, and common area repairs shall commence by order of the Board in cooperation with management. Photographic documentation of the damage will be taken prior to beginning recovery efforts.

All reasonable efforts should be made to safeguard the association’s records, including post-event contact information.

Make a copy of this Plan available to guests who may be using your unit.

In the event of a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, etc) or a man-made disaster (war, chemical spill, etc), tune your radio to a local station.

If an evacuation of the coastal areas of St. Petersburg or the barrier islands is ordered, you may need to use a public shelter. These are listed on the Pinellas County web site or you may call 727/464-3800 for details (TDD: 727/464-4431). A list of currently available shelters is also attached to this Plan. Before going to a shelter, take all steps noted earlier in this Plan. Evacuation routes can be found in the Information Section of the local telephone book or see the attached Evacuation Routes map.

Be aware that your Association will do the following if a disaster threatens:

  1. Elevators in all buildings may be turned off, except as required by law. Stairways may be the only means of leaving the building from the upper floors.
  2. Main electrical breakers to all outside lighting and boat docks may be turned off.
  3. Main water valves may be turned off.
It should be noted that owners are expected to secure their own property. Neither your Association nor Resource Property Management will be able to provide this service. Owners can insure the safety of themselves and their personal property by installing hurricane shutters, hurricane-resistive glass, or other protective devices. Out-of-town owners should make arrangements with local vendors for the installation of these items.

It is advisable that all owners have a key to their unit (both the door knob and dead bolt, if applicable) on file with their Association. This will allow for access to your unit, if needed, to assess any damage after an emergency.
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Management & Maintenance Staff Responsibilities

Individual safety is of greater importance than the need to safeguard property. Management and maintenance staff should not endanger the safety of themselves or their families. If possible, hurricane preparations are to be performed sufficiently in advance of a threatening storm to allow personnel to attend to the needs of their own property and families.

Management Responsibilities:

  1. Make all reasonable efforts to safeguard association records including banking information, insurance policies, owner rosters, post-event contact information, etc. These should be kept off-site with the manager.
  2. Keep cell-phones charged and ready.
  3. Organize maintenance staff as to their duties; schedule a pre-storm meeting with the maintenance staff.
  4. Make sure all property managers have an “Emergency Head Sheet” for all their properties with them personally as well a copy of the Associations’ insurance policies.
  5. Ensure that local law enforcement agencies have received notification permitting maintenance staff access to the property after the storm.
  6. Make sure all pool furniture and umbrellas are properly secured.
  7. Make sure all other Association property is properly secured.
  8. Make sure that pool water levels are lowered or raised, depending on their location (see Maintenance Staff Responsibilities).
  9. Make sure any pool heaters are turned off.
  10. Make sure that any golf-carts are secured and charged.
  11. Make sure that any gates are opened.
  12. Make sure that emergency contractors are on “stand-by” for service after the storm.
  13. Make sure that maintenance staff is aware that they are responsible to return to the property as soon as possible to assess damage and begin clean-up after the storm.
  14. Make sure that the Association’s Board members and maintenance staff have cell-phone numbers for contacting management and maintenance staff.
  15. Contact Board members as soon as possible after the storm to report on damage and begin repairs.
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Maintenance Staff Responsibilities:
  1. Post Notices of mandatory hurricane evacuation, if issued.
  2. Secure all loose items on common property; canvass the entire property for situations that may require special attention.
  3. Place all pool and patio furniture in a secure and safe location; do NOT place it in the pool.
  4. 4. Turn off all electrical supply at the main breaker for systems not required or necessary for running the complex including:
    • Any pool pumps
    • Exterior lights
    • Any fountains
    • Any boat docks
  5. Turn off all gas devices, such as pool or spa heaters, clothes dryers, etc.
  6. Turn off the main water supply line to each building including any sprinkler system.
  7. The water level in inland swimming pools should be lowered to allow room for heavy rain and prevent overflowing; in coastal pools, it should be raised to prevent beach sand from entering the system.
  8. Elevators are to be “parked” at the uppermost level and turned off.
  9. Any generators’ fuel tanks are to be “topped off”.
  10. Any flags are to be removed from their flagpoles.
  11. Any movable trash dumpsters are to have their wheels secured in the “locked” position.
  12. Anchor down any trailers or other loose articles in and around maintenance buildings, if any.
  13. Offer assistance to those residents that may be in need of help and assist with any evacuation procedures.
  14. If a clubhouse is available, assist in the set-up of a “home base”.
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Important Information

Each maintenance person MUST be prepared to return to work once the authorities have provided an “All Clear” notice.

Each beachfront maintenance person MUST have his or her Association letter to allow them access back to the beach after the hurricane. We suggest they keep this letter in their car or wallet.

Each maintenance person is responsible for completing the following BEFORE he or she leaves the property and is to notify their manager when they do leave the property.

Steps To Take To Protect Property
(If Possible Under the Circumstances)

Pools: (Beachfront Properties)
  1. Stack and secure all pool furniture and any other objects that could become airborne. DO NOT PUT FURNITURE IN THE POOL.
  2. ADD water to the pool to keep salt water from entering the system.
  3. Turn off all pool and/or spa pumps.
  4. Remove and place in a storage room any hanging or potted plants.
Pools: (Inland Properties)
  1. Stack and secure all pool furniture and any other objects that could become airborne. DO NOT PUT FURNITURE IN THE POOL.
  2. LOWER the water level between 4 and 6 inches to compensate for the heavy rains. Add extra chlorine.
  3. Turn off all pool and/or spa pumps.
  4. Remove and place in a storage room any hanging or potted plants.
Docks:
  1. Advise owners to secure their boats leaving slack in lines to allow for higher tides.
  2. Turn off all electrical power to the docks (and gas if any) before you leave the property and after all boats have been secured.
Elevators:
  1. If the elevator is an exterior type that is subject to water intrusion into the elevator pit, make sure the sump pumps are working.
  2. Take the elevator to a higher floor and lock it “off”. Post “OUT OF ORDER” signs.
Roofs:
  1. Check roof drains and make sure there is nothing on the roof that would interfere with roof drainage.
  2. Make sure any loose debris is removed.
Grill Areas:
  1. If the association has a grilling area, turn off any gas and secure the grill items.

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE ASSOCIATION HAS ATTEMPTED IN GOOD FAITH TO PROVIDE OWNERS AND OTHER RESIDENTS WITH INFORMATION TO ASSIST YOU IN UNDERSTANDING SOME OF THE STEPS INVOLVED IN PLANNING FOR AND REACTING TO AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, THIS PLAN IS NOT INTENDED AS ADVICE AS TO WHAT ANY INDIVIDUALS SHOULD DO IN PREPARATION FOR, OR IN RESPONSE TO, A MAJOR STORM OR OTHER EMERGENCY. THERE IS CONSIDERABLE INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM OTHER SOURCES, AND YOU NEED TO CONSULT YOUR OWN FINANCIAL, LEGAL AND OTHER ADVISORS TO DETERMINE WHAT ACTIONS YOU SHOULD TAKE. THE ASSOCIATION DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACTIONS WHICH YOU MAY TAKE IN RELIANCE ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS PLAN, AND ADVISES YOU NOT TO RELY UPON THIS PLAN IN CONNECTION WITH THESE IMPORTANT LIFE-SAFETY DECISIONS.

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