Laguna Pointe Condominium Association of Pensacola, Inc.
TROPICAL STORM & HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION
Tropical storms and hurricanes are a fact of life possibility for coastal residents. Prudent advance planning and preparedness are essential if you live on the Gulf Coast.
These storm preparedness notes are designed to help Laguna Pointe owners and residents to start thinking about how to prepare for both potential storm activity and the recovery after an actual event.
Ø Escambia County Division of Emergency Management (www.bereadyescambia.com)
Ø National Weather Service (www.nhc.noaa.gov)
Hurricane Season is June 1 – November 30. Hurricanes go through three storm stages.
1. Tropical depression is a disturbance that has wind speeds less than 39 miles per hour.
2. Tropical storms have wind speeds between 39 and 73 miles per hour.
3. Hurricanes are a storm with winds above 73 m.p.h.
Hurricane levels are classified according to wind strength. Categories are
I (74 - 95 mph), II (96 - 110 mph), III (111 - 129 mph), IV (130 - 156 mph),
and V (157+ mph).
Strong winds, heavy rains, thunder, lightning, flooding and possibly tornadoes characterize hurricanes.
Storm surge can be the most dangerous aspect of hurricanes. During a hurricane, ocean tides rise dramatically, creating large waves, which hit the shore with great force. These waves, due to their large size and strength carry inland much further than normal waves.
STORM PREPARATION RESPONSIBILITES:
Laguna Pointe is in the mandatory evacuation zone for all hurricane warnings.
STORM PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Storm Preparedness Committee has a checklist of basic duties to secure
common areas. These preparations will be started when a hurricane warning is posted by the National Weather Service and Escambia County, Florida.
Prior to a storm event the Storm Prep committee will establish a team to accomplish the following chores:
Ø Identify the Association Member designated to spend association funds in the event “emergency and stabilization” repairs are required.
Ø Identify the Association Member designated to contact the insurance company.
Ø Identify the Association Member designated to contact the condo insurance company.
Ø Remove all patio furniture, carts under the stairs, from the pool area and hoses from around the property. Store chairs in upper level units. Store the tables and the table located beside the dumpster in the elevators.
Ø Require removal of all Cars, Boats, Trailers, Kayaks, Bicycles etc. from the premises and in the unit parking areas. If vehicles/boats are not removed they may be subject to being removed at owner’s expense.
Ø Open the entrance gate and secure it in the open position no later than 24 hours prior to storm arrival.
Ø Identify who has the keys to all units and confirm where the keys will be held during and after the storm.
Ø Contact a member of the board for action in regard to securing the elevators.
Ø Conduct the garbage company and have the dumpster emptied.
Ø Identify a team who will be available after the storm for unit carpet etc. removal if damage is severe enough to warrant such action.
Ø Designate someone to document damage with camera and video immediately after the storm ends and prior to any clean-up.
Ø Create a pet registry for the condo so pets will not be left behind when evacuating due to a storm.
The association is NOT staffed to perform preparedness functions in individual units, even on a "best effort basis".
It is the owners' responsibility to prepare and secure their individual units. If you, the property owner, are not on site when a storm emergency is declared, it is imperative that you have made arrangements with someone locally who can take the necessary steps to secure your unit and belongings.
It is very important that every Laguna occupant is prepared in advance for potential tropical storms. If you wait until after a storm warning is announced, you could find yourself competing with hundreds of people for limited stocks of supplies and equipment. Don't wait too late to get prepared.
Visit the websites noted above and "Google" others, ahead of need; review the links and information carefully. Print or copy any checklists and information that address your individual planning needs. Do it now, and remember to consider after-storm needs as well as pre-evacuation planning.
Keep in mind that post-storm resources will be severely limited and taxed by the number of people needing them. Stock up ahead of time in order to have the resources you need later on!
If you have guests or tenants in your unit, make sure you or your property manager has given them appropriate telephone numbers for emergency contacts, should a storm arise.
STORM PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE:
1. Record and maintain a file of “Before” photos showing all views of buildings and property to have available for documentation if damage occurs.
2. Prior to a storm event the Storm Prep Committee will designate a command center and a point of contact to the Association Board and Membership for coordinating all storm related activities.
3. Maintain and review a contact list of all important names and phone numbers that might be needed during a storm event. (See Addendum 1 below) Ensure family and friends have your contact information in case of an emergency.
4. Coordinate with Etheridge Property Management for communication and action required.
5. Prior to a storm event the Storm Prep Committee will send an e-mail message to all Homeowners, with an e-mail address on file, covering at least the following basic information:
Ø Command Center information.
Ø Notices will be put on everyone’s door 48 hours prior to a storms arrival.
Ø Reminder to remove all personal items from the balcony and entrance ways.
Ø Reminder to remove important items from storage sheds.
Ø Require removal of all Cars, Boats, Trailers, Kayaks, Bicycles, etc. from the premises and in the unit parking areas. If vehicles are not removed they may be subject to being removed at owner’s expense.
Ø Reminder of personal responsibility for items left behind.
Ø Request for people to volunteer on site both before and after the event.
Ø Provide a contact list of important names and numbers to be used during an emergency.
Ø Power could be cut off for at least 7 to 10 days so remove all perishable items.
Ø Reminder to put water socks in the sliding door ways to absorb any incoming water.
Ø Reminder to shelter or remove your pets but do not leave them in your unit if you leave.
Ø Reminder: storage units are breakaway units.
POINTS OF CONTACT:
Storm Preparedness Committee
Holder of the Unit Keys
Fence Gate Company
The national weather service issues two types of storm notices:
v A Storm/Hurricane Watch - means a tropical storm/hurricane may threaten coastal areas and that hurricane conditions are a real possibility. It does not mean a storm is imminent; however, you should have already started preparatory actions.
The Escambia County Emergency Management Agency is responsible for determining when an evacuation order is issued. Laguna Pointe is in a Category I evacuation zone.
PRIOR TO EVACUATING:
MAKE THESE FINAL PREPARATIONS PRIOR TO EVACUATING:
Ø Remove and store ALL patio furniture, plants, and other objects from your patio and from the front door area.
Ø Close and lock patio doors and all windows.
Ø Close drapes, curtains, and lower blinds to keep out flying objects.
Ø Wedge slider doors to help keep strong winds from lifting them off their tracks, and to place towels or other absorbent material at doors to absorb water that might blow under.
Ø Ensure anything you cannot afford to lose is removed from your ground floor storage room.
Ø Move trailers, motorcycles, bicycles, kayaks, boats or any other vehicles from underneath the buildings, so that a storm surge will not batter them against the building pilings. DO NOT leave anything in the parking area beneath the buildings.
Storm preparation and evacuation planning should consider that, depending on the storm severity, public utilities in the area may be purposely shut down in order to minimize potential damage. The Storm Prep Committee team will secure the elevators and complete other checklist items prior to storm arrival.
Many owners will want to inspect their condominiums immediately after a storm to check for any damage. The time frame for being able to return to Laguna Pointe will vary from storm to storm, depending on the extent of damage to specific areas.
After a hurricane, access to the Gulf Beach Highway area will be controlled by the Escambia County Sheriff's Department. All streets/roads must be cleared of as much debris as possible or deemed to be safe for vehicular traffic in damaged areas.
In the event of a catastrophic storm with major damage, local officials may restrict access to only residents and property owners. Unlike Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach, our area does not issue decals to identify local residents. So make sure you have a drivers license, utility bill, or something with your name and the Laguna Pointe address for that eventuality.
If you return immediately after the hurricane danger is over, you should expect that utilities, such as electricity, water, phones and TV cable might not be fully operational. The length of time before they are all restored will depend on the extent of damage to the area. Our living units may not be habitable until the basic utilities are restored.
Snakes, animals, and insects instinctively travel to higher ground to escape
floodwater. Expect them and be prepared to protect yourself.