Cedar Key's Third Annual Hurricane Preparation Day is taking a new form this year: a drive-by briefing designed to make the event more specific to the needs of each citizen. On Thursday, June 2 a series of pop up tents will be placed outside behind City Hall, each laden with representatives from numerous Levy County and Cedar Key-specific groups. The event will inform citizens of important facts about storm readiness, as well as what to do after a hurricane.
Since the hurricane evacuation alarms must be tested annually, the alarms will be sounded at noon to jump-start the event. In recognition of Hurricane Preparation Day, red and black balloons will be placed on the totems located around the island. These totems are poles used to delineate the water levels in emergency situations, and are similar to that of the totems used to measure river stages.
Several representatives of agencies such as Levy County Emergency Management, Nature Coast Transport, Levy County Health Department, The American Red Cross, Levy County Animal Control, as well as Levy County Paramedics will be present at the event. Cedar Key's Emergency Management and members of the Water and Sewer Department will also be available. Each group will have their own booth outside behind City Hall, with flyers and handouts containing valuable information.
Members of the Cedar Key Fire Department will have information on the Vial of L.I.F.E. (Lifesaving Information For Emergencies) program. This program is used in the event of a health emergency, and ensures that vital health information is made evident to emergency personnel. The program requires citizens to place the Vial of L.I.F.E. decal near the entrance of their home, as well as fill out a form containing their important health information. The form is then put in a baggie and placed in or on the resident's refrigerator for emergency personnel to retrieve in case of an emergency.
The Police Department booth will contain information on the re-entry program, as well as the Pier Program. The Pier Program is a great tool in the event that a homeowner is unable to immediately return to Cedar Key after a storm, but would like to know if their home was damaged. In this situation, a person who has registered for the Pier Program will be able to call City Hall and have an official check their home for any damage, and email them a picture of their home after the storm.
Another important step in hurricane preparation that will be available at the drive-by event is hazardous waste collection. Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. will be collecting household hazardous wastes in the marina parking lot in front of the Cedar Key fire station.
Clean Harbors suggests that citizens sort paint, pesticides, and household cleaners, and pack them separately. Containers should be packed in sturdy upright boxes and insulated with newspaper.
Numerous household hazardous wastes will be accepted--oil based paints, stains, thinners, solvents, varnishes, adhesives, glues, resins, kerosene, gasoline, engine degreaser, brake fluid, transmission fluid, poisons, insecticides, weed killers, wood preservatives, hobby/artist supplies, photo chemicals, chemistry sets, cleaners, spot removers, swimming pool chemicals, dry cell batteries, aerosol cans, pesticides, NiCad batteries, hearing aid batteries, used motor oil, propane tanks, tires, and electronics.
However, certain forms of hazardous wastes will not be accepted, such as asbestos, smoke detectors, compressed gas cylinders, ammunition, fireworks, explosives, prescription medicines/syringes, infectious and biological waste, radioactive waste, and fire extinguishers. No commercial or industrial hazardous waste will be accepted.
If you are unsure what supplies to gather before a storm, or are concerned with home safety, special needs plans, pet care, or re-entry after the storm, the Drive-by Hurricane Day event will surely answer any inquiries you have. Free lemonade and hot dogs will be available while they last, so come early!