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Now is the time to prepare for the storm

Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.

There is an old saying that is popular with local Emergency Management Director, Alan Whigham, "Those who fail to plan are planning to fail." With the beginning of Florida's hurricane season only a couple of weeks away, now is the time to prepare a plan for you and your family.

Whigham recently released the following statement for the citizens of Madison County:

"As the start of Hurricane Season is just days away, Madison County Emergency Management encourages you to take the steps NOW to prepare for this season's storms. It is important for all residents of Madison County to prepare ahead of time with disaster kits, evacuation and shelter planning. For more information on what to put in your kit and how to plan for evacuation, visit www.floridadisaster.org or call the Madison County Emergency Management Office. Emergency Management utilizes our CODE RED system for county wide notifications during storm related events. Those who are not already signed up for CODE RED can do so by logging into www.madisoncountyfl.com and following the CODE RED prompts at the top of the page. If you need assistance with setting up your CODE RED account or with generating an action plan, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the Emergency Management Office."

In addition to signing up for CODE RED, everyone should have on hand a disaster kit that includes the following:

First aid kit and prescription medicines

At least one gallon of drinking water per person per day for five days

Enough canned, non-perishable food to last five days, snacks, non-electric can opener, and paper plates/plastic utensils

Flashlights and a radio with extra batteries

An extra supply of cash (bank ATM machines may be inoperable in a widespread power outage)

Important papers, such as copies of insurance policies, Social Security cards, etc., in a waterproof container

Pet care items with identification and immunization records

For more information on how to keep you and your family safe before and after the storm, please contact the Madison County Emergency Management Office at (850) 973-3698.

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