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Disaster Prep – What’s Luck Got to Do With it? (Nothing!)

Published on Mar 15, 2023

Bartow, Fla. (Mar. 14, 2023) – 

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate the “luck of the Irish,” but all the four-leaf clovers in the world won’t help you when a disaster hits. So, let’s choose preparedness over luck as hurricane season approaches.

“When a hurricane or tornado hits, you don’t want to count on luck to keep your family safe,” said Paul Womble, director of Polk County’s Emergency Management Division. “We can’t control when or where disasters occur, but we can take actions beforehand to take luck out of the equation. We can make a disaster preparedness plan that increases our odds of coming through disasters safely.”

Here are seven steps you can take now to prioritize preparation over chance:

  1. Know your risk and make an emergency plan. Learn more about how to plan and prepare for a disaster.
  2. NOAA radio broadcast channels and Alert Polk registration.

    Register for Alert Polk
    - NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies for Polk: 162.500 and 162.550 MHz

  3. Special needs shelter pre-registration. If you or a loved one needs accommodations in a special needs shelter, you must pre-register. Visit our Polk County’s Special Needs page for more information.

  4. Pet shelters. Not all shelters are pet friendly. You need to know ahead of time where you will go. Prepare a Hurricane Pet Plan.

  5. Insurance documentation and other personal documents. Create a digital document inventory. Use your cell phone's built-in camera to start the process. Don't forget identification cards and other important documents.

  6. Prepare your home and yard. Don’t until the last minute to cut limbs and trim overgrown vegetation. Visit Waste and Recycling for more details.

  7. Gather supplies and prepare your emergency kit. For hurricanes, it's recommended that you have a seven-day supply of food and water at the ready for everyone in your household.

For more information, go to Polk County Emergency Management’s social media accounts: