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Hurricane Preparations Brief



Estero Fire Rescue remains prepared for hazardous weather events around the clock throughout the year. Prior to entering hurricane season, Estero Fire Rescue ensures our apparatus and equipment are fully functional and operational. Supplies that may be scarce during a threatening storm are pre-ordered and stored. Policies and plans are reviewed and adjusted as needed to ensure that we are prepared prior to the season kick off on June 1.


Throughout the season we work with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center to monitor tropical activity. When the probability of landfall in or near the Estero community is forecasted, Estero Fire Rescue begins to evaluate needs and resources that need additional lead time to arrive. This may include additional equipment, saw blades, batteries, emergency medical supplies and expediting emergency apparatus repairs to return them back to the district.


Once the Hurricane Center’s five-day forecast includes Estero, additional consumable supplies are ordered such as perishable food, water, fuel, propane, etc. Employees are encouraged to secure their personal property and make arrangements for their family with anticipation of returning to work.


Working from the District’s Hurricane Plan, which outlines preparedness steps 24, 48, 96, and 120 hours out from landfall, District staff prepare for a potential impact by securing the district’s properties, records, data archives, and prepare for the continued operation of the district post-landfall. Staff evaluate the potential impact issues including storm surge, wind impacts, tornado activity, and the loss of communication. Additional staffing levels are determined, and work assignments are prepared for each of the district’s fire stations and administration building. Additional staff are recalled increasing the available manpower and response apparatus.


The district’s day-to-day operations are transitioned into a more formal Incident Management Team model. The district works in conjunction with our neighboring fire Districts and Lee County Emergency Management to ensure a cohesive response to all requests for service from the community.


During the storm, emergency response continues until sustained winds increase above 45 miles per hour. From this point on, all District personnel and equipment shelter in place and any facilities expected to be flooded are evacuated. Once wind levels drop below, the District resumes emergency response while simultaneously beginning a District wide damage assessment. Priorities include road access, structural collapse, victim rescue, hazardous material mitigation, and handling increased 911 calls as well as welfare checks on back logged 911 calls.


As soon as the storms impacts are deemed no longer a hindrance to our day-today operations, the district returns to a normal state of operation.

Hurricane Preparations


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