Emergency crews help residents prepare for hurricane season

- St. Petersburg Fire Rescue and Emergency Management workers went door-to-door, delivering information about the upcoming hurricane season to mobile home park residents.

This is the first year the department canvassed neighborhoods, according to Deputy Fire Marshall Lt. Steven Lawrence. Many neighbors in mobile homes were not aware they must evacuate in the event of a hurricane.

"Our biggest concern is that mobile home parks are a must-evacuate," said Lawrence. "They're great buildings to live in, but they don't withstand winds or flying debris."

Flyers passed out included checklists of evacuation items and ways to prepare homes before leaving. The flyers also list the location of each neighbor's emergency shelter and contact information for emergency services.

Neighbors who might need assistance in the event of an evacuation were encouraged to sign up ahead of time with Pinellas County Emergency Management at http://www.pinellascounty.org/forms/evac-assist.htm or by calling (727) 551-3822.

"Anyone who's elderly, handicapped or needs help evacuating will go on our list and then we can help get them to an area shelter and then we'll take them back home after the storm passes," explained Lawrence.

Pet-friendly shelters are also available: http://www.stpete.org/emergency/hurricane_center/pet_care.php

For more tips and information on how to prepare a hurricane plan, visit: http://www.stpete.org/emergency/hurricane_center/

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