Mayor's Column

Summer is officially here, and that means, the beginning of Hurricane SeasonLast year’s season gave Florida a much-needed break from major hurricane impacts, but we all know it only takes one storm! Throughout this Hurricane Season, we will use lessons learned from Irma and Dorian to improve our Village’s response. We know this year has been unlike any other, and we have all made difficult sacrifices to keep our community safe during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We must continue to do so this month.

I want to focus on Hurricane Preparedness and shine the spotlight on one very important aspect of preparedness – Communication. You can never underestimate the value of communication during an emergency.

First, I encourage all Wellington residents to start making storm preparations now. We should all have seven days of critical supplies, including food, water, and medicine. Have a plan for keeping your pets safe.  You should have enough supplies for them as well. This is the time to develop a plan. Once you are under pressure, having a written plan will take the guesswork out of what you need to do to protect you and your family.

Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have seen the value of building strong community bonds to support each other through a crisis.

Many of our residents rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also many ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Reach out to your elderly neighbor and ask them if they need help preparing their home, or simply introduce yourself and discuss your hurricane plans and contact information.

Wellington works diligently to “push” information to all of our residents and businesses and we have set up many easy ways for everyone to contact the Village. All with the goal in mind of keeping everyone informed, updated, and well served.

The number one communications tool the Village has is this website.  Our website is organized to be an easy to use virtual “Village Hall” that is open 24/7. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on our website, I encourage you to call us Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at (561) 791-4000. In the event of a hurricane, this number will serve as our emergency hotline.

Facebook and other forms of social media have revolutionized the way we share and receive information. If you have not done so already, please “like” and follow the “Village of Wellington” on Facebook to receive important information. You can also find us on Twitter, Nextdoor, and YouTube.

In addition to news and updates, you can also tune in to WellingtonTV on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T U-Verse Channel 99, or anytime, On-Demand through our website.

Last, but not least, in the event of an emergency, the Village utilizes the AlertWellington system to notify residents. Please sign up today to receive messages at www.wellingtonfl.gov/Alerts.   

As you can see, the Village works hard to provide residents with information. Staying connected with us before, during, and after a storm will help keep you informed and safe. Please make Communication a part of your Hurricane Preparedness Plan.  

In recent years, it has become all too clear how unpredictable storms can be.  A storm’s track and intensity can change quickly, so do not assume that just because we are not on a current forecast track that we will not see significant effects. Pay close attention to National Weather Service updates and prepare for any potential risks.

If you have not completed your tree trimming, please make plans to complete this within the next two months.  It is critically important that all trees and shrubs are well-trimmed so that they are more wind-resistant.   Remember to properly dispose of yard waste.  Dead branches and loose debris may become dangerous missiles during a storm.   Complete tree trimming well in advance of any storms. 

Wellington is prepared.  Working together, we can manage the obstacles mother nature throws at us. I am hopeful we can avoid any major storms this year, but we all still have to prepare early.  

In addition to preparing our Village for Hurricanes, we continue coordinating with state and local health officials while closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation for our area. We are continuously assessing and adapting emergency plans for COVID-19 and implementing strategies to slow the transmission of the disease, in particular, to protect individuals at increased risk for severe illness, including older adults and those with underlying health conditions, as well as the healthcare of critical infrastructure workforces. For updates on Wellington’s ongoing response to COVID-19 coronavirus, please visit Wellingtonfl.gov/Coronavirus.