June Mayor’s Column
Summer is officially here, and that means, the beginning of Hurricane Season. Last year, we saw first-hand the damaging effects from Hurricane Irma on our area. Here in Wellington, wind effects were responsible for most of the damage. Many of us had no electricity for days and were left to pick up the pieces, as hundreds of trees and vegetation were left scattered around our Village. Despite the difficulties and the inconveniences, we count ourselves lucky to have sustained relatively minor damage. This month, I want to focus on Hurricane Preparedness, with special focus on a very important aspect of preparedness – Communication. You can never underestimate the value of communication during an emergency.
Wellington works diligently to “push” information to all of our residents and businesses and we have set up many easy ways for everyone to contact the Village. All with the goal in mind of keeping everyone informed, updated, and well served.
The number one communications tool the Village has is its website, www.wellingtonfl.gov. Our website is organized to be an easy to use virtual “Village Hall” that is open 24/7. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on our website, I encourage you to call us Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Wednesday 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM at (561) 791-4000.
Facebook and other forms of social media have revolutionized the way we share and receive information. If you have not already, please “like” the Village of Wellington’s Facebook page to receive important information and updates. You can also find us on Twitter, Nextdoor, and YouTube. Also, sign up for our Storm Update Newsletter.
In addition to news and updates, you can also tune in to WellingtonTV on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, or anytime, On-Demand, at https://bit.ly/2IYeTOc.
Last, but not least, in the event of an emergency, the Village utilizes the CodeRED system to notify residents. Please sign up today to receive CodeRED messages at www.wellingtonfl.gov/CodeRed.
As you can see, the Village works hard to provide residents with information. Staying connected with us before, during, and after a storm will help keep you informed and safe. Please make Communication a part of your Hurricane Preparedness Plan.
In recent years, it has become all too clear how unpredictable storms can be. A storm’s track and intensity can change quickly, so do not assume that just because we are not on a current forecast track that we will not see significant effects. Pay close attention to National Weather Service updates and prepare for any potential risks. Create a supply kit– Some of the items you will want to include are water (one gallon of water per person per day, for at least three days), a three-day supply of non-perishable food, medical supplies and prescriptions, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.
If you have not completed your tree trimming, please make plans to complete this within the next two months. It is critically important that all trees and shrubs are well trimmed so that they are more wind-resistant. Remember to properly dispose of yard waste. Dead branches and loose debris may become dangerous missiles during a storm. Complete tree trimming well in advance of any storms.
Have a plan for keeping your pets safe. You should have enough supplies for them as well.
Finally, remember to plan for the worst-case scenario. You do not want to be left scrambling in case of an evacuation order. Make sure everyone in your family knows how to leave, where to go, and how to contact each other. Familiarize yourself with Palm Beach County’s Emergency Services web page, and their Shelter Program.
Wellington is prepared. We work together to manage the obstacles mother nature throws at us. I am hopeful we can avoid any major storms this year, but we all still have to prepare early.