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Tips for preparing for hurricane season

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - June 1st marks the official start of hurricane season. If you don’t already have a plan, emergency officials in Walton County want to help you make one.

“Make sure you have a disaster supply kit, make sure you’ve got non-perishable food and water and battery-operated radio and extra batteries and medications,” Walton County Emergency Management Director Jeff Goldberg said.

Goldberg said knowing your flood risk is also important.

“You could not be in a flood zone for rainfall but be in a surge zone or a tropical weather storm surge zone and if you receive flooding from a storm surge and you don’t have flood insurance you’re not going to be covered,” Goldberg said.

If you have to evacuate to a Walton County shelter, they will do some COVID-19 screenings, like temperature checks.

If you chose not to evacuate, officials want you to know first responders might not be able to get to you right away.

“Please keep in mind that if you do not evacuate... They will be able to respond to you in the days following a storm if the roads permit, so if it’s flooded fire trucks and other emergency vehicles may have trouble getting to you,” Public Information Officer for South Walton Fire District Mackenzie McClintock said.

Having supplies for your entire family is a good idea if you choose to stay.

“If you’re not evacuating you need to have some sort of plan for yourself, your family, and your pets safe for about a weeks time, we’re talking about that emergency supply kit with water, nonperishable food items, multiple ways to receive weather alerts, because you may lose power,” McClintock said.

If a storm is coming, and you do evacuate, according to Walton County officials, evacuation routes are determined by the state, and have not been altered this year.

You can find maps of evacuation routes and flood zones on the emergency management department’s website.

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