To the Residents and Visitors of Southwest Florida,
Some of you consider Lee County, Florida, your family's vacation destination, while many others enjoy Southwest Florida year-round as they live, work and play. Lee County, located along Southwest Florida's Gulf Coast, has a year-round population of nearly 700,000 residents, but climbs to over 1.3 million during the winter tourist, spring break and baseball spring-training seasons.
While we all enjoy beautiful weather and lifestyle that Southwest Florida provides, we must also be prepared to overcome occasional threats. Each year is different, and history only reveals the past. However, we learn more each year, and our preparations are more refined. Due to the unpredictability, preparing to respond to these hazards must be as much a part of our lives as driving to work, or walking on the beach. Most of us realize the important of creating a plan to address as least some common hazards. Unfortunately, realization and preparation rarely prevent a disaster. Well prepared people and property survive more often, recover more quickly, and return to normal more easily. At the Lee County Department of Public Safety, we ask that you go just a bit further, and develop a "culture of preparedness" in your home. In doing so, share the plans of preparedness with your family and friends. Emergency Preparation can seem a daunting task, but this All Hazards Guide is filled with information and resources to get you on your way! On the most fundamental level, preparation involves acknowledging the real threat, identifying your options ahead of time, securing supplies and resources, and then when necessary, putting your plan into action.
Here in Lee County, It's not just about hurricanes! The All Hazards Guide has information to answer your questions regarding most of the hazards we face in Southwest Florida. The All Hazards Guide has been published for more than 20 years with one simple goal – to help you and your community be better prepared for the hazards that can become a part of our life.
We know that you are busy, and it's no fun to think about disasters, but please take a few minutes to consider the information in this All Hazards Guide. Keep it convenient in your household, or business, so it can be referenced if and when needed. It contains telephone numbers, websites, social media pages and other useful information to help you. Your plans do not have to be long and complicated. You just need to get started, and then encourage a friend, neighbor or family member to do the same.
Thank you, and please stay safe!
Rob Farmer, Director
Lee County Department of Public Safety