Hurricane hang tags need to be redone this year, and business picked up a bit this week at the Boca Grande Fire Department with more and more people remembering to get them.
Executive Assistant Nancy Coleman said she has issued 946 residential tags and 247 commercial tags for 2012.
“I think the storm was a reminder,” she said. “That is not unusual. Whenever there is a storm people tend to be reminded, or maybe because there isn’t much to do in the rain a trip to the fire station is always fun. Priorities are different in the rain.”
Hurricane hang tags make re-entry easier after an event, even though a driver’s license with a Boca Grande address may still be used.
People with a driver’s license with a Boca Grande mailing address are strongly urged to also obtain a hurricane hang tag. For the 2012 renewal, bring your old tag and your driver’s license to the fire department and you will receive a new tag for this year.
Hurricane hang tags will only be issued to business or residential owners. It is the owner’s choice and the owner’s discretion as to how the hang tags are used after that.
Remember, if there is an impending threat of a hurricane (not a tropical storm or weaker), the fire station will be closed the day before the hurricane is due to hit, in order to prepare. Do not expect to renew your hang tag on that day. Boca Grande property owners and those with commercial interests should obtain hurricane hang tags prior to a hurricane warning being issued. Commercial businesses must have a valid occupational license with a physical address on the island prior to application for hurricane hang tags. The hurricane hang tag program includes a system of four zones. Your zone will be printed on your hurricane hang tag to allow for phased re-entry, if warranted.
If you are a property owner with a tenant, you must be able to provide a copy of the lease for island property, listing the name of the person requesting the tag as a tenant. The landlord may also request the tags for their tenant. You have to provide proof of residence, such as utility bill, property tax bill, etc. indicating your island address, and you must show a valid driver’s license.
For commercial hang tags, you must show a valid driver’s license and you must own or manage a business with a physical address on the island. Tags will be issued to businesses and/or employers for their key employees. A list of employees must be submitted to the fire department and tags will be issued to the employer. The business owner/property owner is accountable for the tag and the person to whom it is issued, and tags should be issued only in the event of a storm, then returned to the employer after the storm.
Caretakers, housekeepers, homewatch and lawn service workers must obtain the tag from the employer or property owner.
If a tag is lost, only the homeowner or business owner can request replacements.
Hurricane hang tags are available from the Boca Grande Fire Department, 360 East Railroad Ave., between the hours of 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you are not on the island and need a new hang tag, you can go to bocagrandefire.com and download the proper forms. You can also send an email to email@example.com, or call to request an application at 964-2908. Send your completed application with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Boca Grande Fire Department, POB 532, Boca Grande, Florida, 33921. Include a copy of your drivers’ license, proof of residency or ownership, i.e. copy of tax bill, deed, rental agreement, utility bill, etc.
If you found yourself looking for sandbags, you may have realized that the last ones you had were rotted. Check your supply now, and remember to replenish them when the next storm comes our way. According to fire station authorities, it’s usually better to wait until a storm is approaching to request the bags, so you don’t lose them in the meantime and have to ask for them twice.
Sandbags are usually available at the Boca Grande Fire Department. Lee County Emergency Operations is responsible for making sure that every fire department in the county has bags in the event of an emergency. If a storm is headed our way, they would even have sand available at an accessible location. In the past, the Wheeler Road ball field has been used.
Finally, if you elect to remain on the island after an evacuation advisory has been issued, which is not recommended, it is requested that you contact the Boca Grande Fire Department at 964-2908 and leave the name and address where you are staying, the number of members in your party, and a contact number for next of kin not living in the area.
This will aid the fire department in expediting search and rescue proceedings as well as body recovery efforts. Those who don’t contact the Boca Grande Fire Department will be assisted on a first-come, first-serve basis when it is safe to do so.
E-mail (required, but will not display)
Notify me of follow-up comments
Click for a larger view