|Forecast and Radar|
Polk County Hurricane Guide
With hurricane season officially beginning on June 1st, the Polk County Board of County Commissioners' Emergency Management Division, the City of Bartow and WBF would like to remind citizens of the importance of advance preparation in the event of a storm.
With the current tracking capabilities, no one should be surprised by a hurricane. The time is now to start making preparations in the event a disaster strikes.
Important Telephone Numbers 72-Hour Survival Kit
Shelter and Evacuation Information
Special Care Program
Disaster Planning Tips for Pets, Livestock and Wildlife
Polk County Information Telephone Numbers:
Emergency Public Shelter maps, with detailed directions to each of Polk County’s public shelters, are available at libraries throughout the county. They will also be available at many Publix Supermarkets in the area at the end of May. In addition, the maps include a list of suggested items for a 3-day survival kit, important telephone numbers, and a list of shelters that will accept pets during an emergency.
You can view a map of all Polk County public shelters at https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&jsv=107&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=101238063671114853297.00044b02507c811253deb&ll=28.008952,-81.838531&spn=0.869311,1.2854&z=10
Visit Polk County on the web, www.polk-county.net.
Store the supplies in an easy-to-carry object such as a large, covered trash container, camping backpack, or duffle bag. Keep items, or groups of items, in waterproof and air-tight plastic bags. Change the water supply every three months so it stays fresh. Rotate the food every six months. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the proper procedure for storing prescription medications. Replace batteries often.
All Public Shelters will not be activated for each possible emergency; they are opened as they are needed. Shelters are not pre-assigned by geographic area. For shelter information during a disaster, tune to Oldies 1130 WBF.
Have a 72-hour survival kit ready to take with you. No pets, weapons, or alcoholic beverages are permitted at the Public Shelters.
DO NOT PROCEED TO ANY SHELTER UNTIL YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THAT IT IS OPENED AND OPERATING.
To obtain a Polk County Public Shelter Map, visit a Polk County Public Library near you.
ELIGIBLES: Polk County Residents who live in mobile homes, unstable home site structures or areas of the county subject of flooding who fit into any of the following categories, regardless of age, are eligible.
If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.
For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in your area allow pets --well in advance of needing them (there are two links at the bottom of this page directing you to motels and hotels that accept pets). Include your local animal shelter's number in your list of emergency numbers --they might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster.
Make sure identification tags and rabies tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they're not available later. While the sun is still shining, consider packing a "pet survival" kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits.
If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters need your pet's medical records to make sure vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "Pet Survival Kit" along with a photo of your pet.
If it is impossible to take your pet with you to temporary shelter, contact friends, family, veterinarians, or boarding kennels to arrange for care. Make sure medical and feeding information, food, medicine and other supplies accompany your pet to his foster home. NOTE: Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster, but this should be considered only as a last resort as shelters will fill up rapidly and usually they have only enough space for normal day to day operations
If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place it in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside --NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached, as well as the name and number of your vet.
Not only are pets affected by disaster, but other animals in the disaster area are affected as well.
EVACUATE LIVESTOCK WHENEVER POSSIBLE. Arrangements for evacuation, including routes and host sites, should be made in advance. Alternate routes should be mapped out in case the planned route is inaccessible.
The evacuation sites should have or be able to readily obtain food, water, veterinary care, handling equipment and facilities.
Trucks, trailers, and other vehicles suitable for transporting livestock (appropriate for transporting each specific type of animal) should be available along with experienced handlers and drivers to transport them. Whenever possible, the animals should be accustomed to these vehicles in advance so they're less frightened and easier to move.
If evacuation is not possible, a decision must be made whether to move large animals to available shelter or turn them outside. This decision should be determined based on the type of disaster and the soundness and location of the shelter (structure).
All animals should have some form of identification that will help facilitate their return.
Persons owning herds of livestock will not be able to evacuate their animals. The biggest problem in these cases is flooding and downed fences caused by fallen trees.
Your disaster plan should include a list of emergency phone numbers for local agencies that can assist you if a disaster strikes, including your veterinarian, the Humane Society and S.P.C.A., Polk County Animal Services, Sheriffs Office Agricultural Unit, The County Extension Service, local agricultural schools and livestock associations and the American Red Cross. These numbers should be kept with your disaster kit in a secure, but easily accessible place.
Wild animals often seek higher ground which, during floods, eventually become isolated by flood waters (i.e., island) and the animals become stranded. If the island is large enough and provides suitable shelter, you can leave food appropriate to the species (i.e., sunflower seeds for squirrels). Animals have a flight response and will flee from anyone approaching too closely. If the animal threatens to rush into the water, back away from the island or you may frighten the animal into jumping into the water to escape from you.
Wildlife often seek refuge from flood waters on upper levels of a home and may remain inside even after the water recedes. If you meet a rat or snake face to face, be careful, but don't panic. Open a window or other escape route and the animal will probably leave on its own. Never attempt to capture a wild animal unless you have the training, protective clothing, restraint equipment and caging necessary to perform the job.
Beware of an increased number of snakes and other predators who will try to feed on the carcasses of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals who have been drowned or crushed in their burrows or under rocks.
Often, during natural disasters, mosquitoes and dead animal carcasses may present disease problems. Outbreaks of anthrax, encephalitis and other diseases may occur. Contact your local emergency management office for help!
If you see an injured or stranded animal in need of assistance, or you need help with evicting an animal from your home, please contact your local animal control office or animal shelter!
CHECKLIST OF ITEMS TO PREPARE FOR A DISASTER (Prepare at least a Two Week Supply)
During a hurricane, WBF will implement its own in-house hurricane plan. Part of this plan involves the monumental job of keeping the station on the air. WBF has an on-site 15,000 watt electrical back-up generator, powered by propane, with a runtime of 60 hours per tank. Our studio and transmitter site have been designed for hurricane force winds. We will do everything possible to maintain our on-air service.