Sarasota County holds briefing on hurricane preparedness

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SARASOTA COUNTY - With two days until hurricane season begins, Sarasota County prepares for what may come this season. It held a briefing Thursday on its plan for hurricane preparedness as the 2013 season begins.

Sarasota County launched a campaign it calls "The First 72 Are On You." It means for the first 3 days after a storm strikes, you need to prepare to fend for yourself. That means having enough food, water, medicine and any other disaster supplies you will need to survive without electricity and other utilities. "That initial 72 hours is critical," says Ed McCrane, Sarasota County's Emergency Management Chief. He prefers that people prepare for a week if they can.

For all of the emergency planning that they do, officials say that if a big storm struck, they could not help everybody immediately. "We're going to be completely overwhelmed," says McCrane.

To get the word out, county public safety and emergency officials use everything from Facebook and Twitter to in person presentations throughout the county. They scheduled the first of their "Hurricane Awareness" outreach events for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Englewood Community Redevelopment Alliance building,1398 Old Englewood Road, Englewood.

After the presentation, public safety officials will walk streets Polynesian Village and Overbrook neighborhoods to distribute information to residents about the importance of hurricane preparedness and keeping their family and neighborhood safe.