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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Believe it or not, we’re in hurricane season again and the time to get ready is now

Lady Lake Police Chief Chris McKinstry

“Those who have not learned from history are doomed to repeat it.”
That is especially true with hurricanes. Even though forecasting methods and tools are improving year after year, people are still at great risk if they are not prepared.
Experience has taught us that the best thing to do before a hurricane is prepare, so you can be confident during a storm that you’ve done everything you can to keep your family safe. As your chief of police, I want you to know that during a hurricane, you can depend on the resilience and resourcefulness of the men and women of the Lady Lake Police Department.

Homes on the Historic Side of The Villages were in high water after Hurricane Irma.

As a local law enforcement agency, we work year-round with our local, county, state and federal partners to improve our response, cooperation and communication during hurricanes. Just as we at the police department plan for unexpected weather emergencies, there is plenty you can do to make yourselves, your families and your homes ready for hurricane season. Don’t wait for a storm to threaten.

Villages Friendly Folks organize supplies for victims of Hurricane Irma.

First, create a disaster supply kit that will last your family three to seven days. Ask yourself what you would need if you couldn’t get to a grocery store, pharmacy, bank or gas station for several days. Your kit should include a gallon per person per day of water, non-perishable food, a can opener, blankets and pillows, rain gear and sturdy shoes, first aid items, prescription drugs, toiletries, a flashlight and batteries, a battery-operated radio, a fully-charged cell phone and a non-cordless phone. Pack any special food, medicines or supplies you might need for an infant, an elderly person or a pet. Make sure you have credit cards and cash on hand and gas in your vehicle. Put all of your important documents such as insurance and medical records, bank account numbers and your social security card in a waterproof container or waterproof plastic bag.

The Villages Public Safety Department arrives on the scene of a tree downed by Hurricane Irma.

Talk to your family about which place in your home would be the safest during a storm and at what point you would move to a shelter. Plan what to do with your pets if you have to evacuate and designate an out-of-state relative or friend to be a point of contact for each family member after a storm. Make sure children know when and how to call 911. But always remember that if a storm gets severe enough, there may be limited or no emergency responders to assist until after the storm passes.
The Lady Lake Police Department is prepared to help you and your family in any emergency, but I encourage you to create a disaster supply kit and talk to your family about an emergency plan. On behalf of the men and women at the Lady Lake Police Department, I wish you and your family the safest possible hurricane season.

Chris McKinstry is chief of police in Lady Lake.

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