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Lee Health's 'StormReady' Designation and What it Means for You

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Author name: Lee Health


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A new hurricane season has arrived, raising our anxiety about going through all that again and our fears about surviving another storm like Hurricane Ian. We can only hope the federal government’s prediction for a “near-normal” hurricane season this year holds true so our communities can continue to heal from last year’s storm.

Please remember that Lee Health hospitals and other facilities are not designated hurricane shelters.

Read: Experts Predict Near-normal Hurricane Season’

In the meantime, whatever our weather fortunes are, rest assured that Lee Health remains committed to helping you, your family, and our communities as we prepare to care for anyone who needs it during a storm. 

We Are Certified ‘StormReady’

What’s “StormReady” certification? Awarded by the National Weather Service, the certification means every Lee Health hospital has met a rigorous set of federal standards designed to educate you on how to stay safe in a severe weather event.

“The StormReady program is about preparing for our region’s increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and water events,” explains Tashawna Gaines, Emergency Preparedness Manager for Lee Health. “The program helps arm communities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property before, during and after an event. It also helps community leaders and emergency managers strengthen local safety programs.”

Tashawna says the StormReady program uses a grassroots approach to help communities develop plans to handle all types of extreme weather. The program encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations by providing emergency managers with clear-cut guidelines on how to improve their hazardous weather operations.

To earn the distinction as StormReady, Lee Health met a series of emergency preparedness requirements, including:

  • Establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center
  • Have more than one way to receive severe weather warnings and forecasts and to alert the public
  • Create a system that monitors weather conditions locally
  • Promote the importance of public readiness through community seminars
  • Develop a formal hazardous weather plan

“With Hurricane Ian, many people looked to Lee Health during recovery, so the goal is to provide information and resources to help families throughout the region year-round,” Tashawna says. “Giving people access to information before they need it is a great way to help people stay safe and hopefully save lives.”

Lee Health sends out information to our community during a storm on our social media channels as well as through website and media updates.

Now’s the time to get your hurricane kit and plan in place. Here’s how.

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