News from the desk of Sheriff Potter

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Stay Informed and Safe: 2024 Hurricane Season Tips

As of June 1st, the 2024 Hurricane Season has officially begun. It's crucial for everyone in our community to be well-prepared for potential storms. Reflecting on past experiences, we remember Hurricane Ian, which struck Southwest Florida on September 28, 2022, as a Category 4 storm. It was the deadliest hurricane to hit the United States in this century, leaving behind extensive damage and ongoing recovery efforts.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office dedicated 11,249.5 hours to recovery operations. Our team engaged in initial search and rescue, followed by search and recovery missions. For weeks, staff members tirelessly navigated through debris and floodwaters, delivering essential resources and supplies to affected citizens. Support also came from law enforcement agencies across the state, who provided personnel, vehicles, and equipment to aid in the relief efforts.

Our law enforcement agency collaborates closely with other emergency response organizations during natural disasters. Typically, we send 4-5 personnel, including supervisors, deputies, and 9-1-1 telecommunicators, to assist at the DeSoto County Emergency Operation Center (EOC). These staff members play a vital role in coordinating missions, communicating with state officials, and securing additional response support.

To ensure public safety, we work diligently with emergency response organizations to disseminate essential alerts and messages. For inquiries about road closures, evacuation zones, fuel availability, and storm-related concerns, please contact the EOC directly.

As we enter hurricane season, it is imperative for everyone to develop a comprehensive plan for their families, pets, and homes. Now is the time to gather sufficient water, food, and medications to last for an extended period. Ensure you have enough batteries, familiarize yourself with local flood and evacuation zones, and prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

Review your family reunification plan in case of separation, and make sure you have essential emergency contact numbers and insurance information readily available. Keep your phones charged to receive timely notifications on storm paths and evacuation updates.

Stay connected with DeSoto County Emergency Management and sign up for alerts via their app. Additionally, download the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office App for updates and alerts during storms, available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Your safety is our top priority. Stay alert, stay safe, and be kind.

God Bless,

Sheriff Jim Potter