Emergency management director on hurricane preparedness

07/31/07 Robert Lorei
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Larry Gispert is the director of emergency management for Hillsborough County. It's the agency responsible for planning and coordinating the evacuation and sheltering of county residents in the event of a natural or manmade disaster.

The agency is also responsible for planning and coordinating response actions and continuity of government in the aftermath of a major disaster.

Gispert appeared live on WMNF today to cover the following issues:

What’s your worst fear about a hurricane hitting the Tampa Bay area? What questions should I be asking myself?

Hurricane kit essentials: -Food -Baby Needs -Kitchen supplies -Emergency toilet -Health and medical needs (stock up on medications) -Hardware/tools -Flashlights -Portable radios -Tarps -Gas or diesel fuel containers -Batteries -Food coolers -Carbon monoxide detectors -Weather radios- how expensive? -Lists of important phone numbers

Preparing your home or apartment: -outdoor furniture -potted plants -covering windows (plywood, duct tape on windows? Hurricane protection film? (do these work?) -Do sandbags prevent flooding? -Gas up car -Get cash

Identifying evacuation zones

What should I take with me when I evacuate? -insurance policies -identification -debit cards/cash? -personal photos -gas up car

Is there a home sharing program where people will open up their homes or businesses temporarily as shelters?

Location of shelters

Where do people with special needs go: -nursing home residents -Alzheimer’s patients -people in wheel chairs -other people who live independently- but might need a special shelter- vision impaired; hearing impaired

Staying in a motel in mid-state? Good idea? Safe? With relatives on the other coast?

Timing your evacuation - when should I leave? How fast do hurricanes travel?

Are tornadoes associated with hurricanes?

What about losing your medication during a hurricane? Is there a law requiring that drug stores refill your prescription, even if your prescription is expired?

Recovery and cleanup after a hurricane: -danger from stroke and over-exertion -spoiled food

What’s the biggest misconception that you think people have about hurricanes?

For special needs residents who want to register for evacuation pick-up with Hillsborough county, call (813) 272-5900.

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