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City of Tallahassee hosts webinar for neighborhood hurricane preparedness

Posted at 6:38 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:28:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee is making sure neighborhoods are ready for hurricane season in the middle of a pandemic.

Tuesday's PREP webinar is about being left without power or access to food and water and mobilizing neighborhoods to work together in an emergency situation, like a major storm.

What would normally take place in person is now happening online, putting in place strategic plans for neighbors to coordinate with each other during a storm.

The need for this is much greater than before, as COVID-19 has changed how Homeowner's Associations and neighborhood groups can safely evaluate their communities.

"True neighborhoods offer a very organized way for neighbors to help each other during and after the storm," said Baker.

John Baker, the manager of the City Neighborhood Affairs division, says each neighborhood will set up a response team.

"Here we may not get a whole lot of the water surges, but we will get a lot of wind that will start knocking over trees, and that's what causes most of the damages," Gayla Parks said.

Modules showed the tools that everyone should have during a disaster.

"Some of the things you can include are non perishable food items and, like I said, you want to make sure you have enough to last you five to seven days," said Kilisha Fain. "Those are just a few things that we recommend you put in your kit."

Another recommendation is updating contact and insurance information.

And the key to making sure a neighborhood plan works is communication with neighbors before disaster hits.

"Having neighbors on blocks or on streets that would be assigned to check in on their neighbors," said Baker. "Check on Ms. Toms, see how she is and see how her family is doing, that type of stuff, and see what type of assistance other neighbors on the street can provide to her."

Baker says neighborhoods will work to build a Neighborhood PREP Toolkit to guide them during a disaster as well as how to build a disaster supply kit.

The city is pushing for early preparation so no one will be caught off guard.