The Department of Transportation and Public Works offers safety tips in preparation for hurricane season
With hurricane season commencing today, June 1, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) is offering tips to ensure transit riders and motorists stay safe during inclement weather conditions.
KEEPING SAFE WHILE USING TRANSIT
Thunderstorms can bring lightening, strong winds, heavy rain and flooding – all which can create dangerous travel conditions.
During windy conditions, transit passengers are encouraged to remember that while waiting for a Metrorail or Metromover train, they should:
• Avoid standing at the edge of the platform.
• Provide security officers and transit personnel their full cooperation. For the safety of patrons, security officers or transit personnel may hold patrons on the lower level of a station when wind gusts are too strong.
CEASING TRANSIT OPERATIONS
Miami-Dade Transit, including Special Transportation Service, will begin to cease operations and evacuations three hours prior the estimated arrival of tropical storm force winds (sustained winds of 39 miles per hour) to Miami-Dade County.
Patrons are encouraged to register to receive Rider Alerts to stay informed of the latest transit updates. If service needs to be temporarily suspended due to worsening of weather conditions, DTPW will send out Rider Alerts, and inform its riders through its social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), as well as the Department’s website and app. Transit users also can call 3-1-1 to speak with an agent.
SAFETY TIPS FOR RESIDENTS REQUIRING SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION
Miami-Dade County residents who require evacuation assistance should register for the Emergency & Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP) prior to an emergency to ensure help will be given when needed. It may also be utilized post-disaster to provide other assistance. Pre-registered residents will receive priority during an emergency.
Residents who need evacuation assistance should register for a Special Needs Center as early as possible. To register, residents can call 3-1-1, or visit the Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Evacuation Assistance to download the application and follow the instructions to submit the application.
When Miami-Dade County issues an evacuation order, Special Transportation Service (STS) will provide certified riders with a one-way trip to a shelter. STS clients are also encouraged to contact the Paratransit Operations Office at 786-469-5000, or email [email protected], to update their emergency contact information. STS will not provide shopping trips during an emergency.
KEEPING STORM DRAINS CLEAR OF DEBRIS
Landscapers and residents are reminded that they should not blow grass clippings onto streets and into the storm drainage system. Grass clippings, leaves and other lawn debris can clog storm drains, which leads to street flooding. Visit DTPW’s Public Works website to learn how to properly handle and secure grass clippings. Blowing leaves and grass clippings onto sidewalks, streets and storm drains is considered littering and a violation of Miami-Dade County’s Code Section 15-6.
DRIVING DURING STORMY CONDITIONS
During severe storm conditions, motorists are encouraged to stay off the roads as much as possible. Those who must drive should make sure their vehicle equipment, such as brake lights and wipers, is working properly. Also, to avoid long lines at a gas station, motorists should fill up their tanks early.
In addition, here is some important information to remember when heavy rain is expected:
• Be aware of flood zones and seek alternate routes whenever possible.
• If you see flood water, stay safe and do not attempt to drive through high water, which may stall the vehicle’s engine and cause further damage.
• Avoid contact with flood waters. Flood water can be contaminated with sewage or other pollutants, and there may be hazardous materials below the water surface that could cause injury.
• Avoid parking your vehicle in low lying areas. Move the vehicle to higher ground, such as a parking garage.
• Stay tuned to weather information and register to receive emergency alerts.