Key West keeps an eye on the storm and is prepared

Key West Mayor Teri Johnston joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city.

With the approaching tropical storm, the city is preparing and a recent seminar helped make that happen.

Johnston said, “Shannon Weiner, who is our emergency management director for the county, came in and gave us a four hour presentation to the elected officials and we were fortunate enough to have five out of our seven elected officials attend. Great questions, good reminders. The thrust of the meeting really is the role of elected officials when we go into one of our emergencies. We have a very specific role. It is to keep our constituents educated and updated on everything that is happening in the city of Key West. We have some great resources that I just want to remind you of in the city of Key West, it is an app called Civic Ready. That has all of our most current information out. You can get on our website and download it. For the county emergency management system, it is called Alert Monroe. Because you want to get local information. I know the weather channel is great, but the weather channel is projecting and informing on a very wide area. You want to know what’s happening in Key West. One of the shining examples of that is our nascent National Weather Service in Key West, NOAA. In Hurricane Ian, the weather service across the street here had been projecting storm surge for the city of Key West about three days before we got it. Whereas, some other weather stations reporting were not quite so accurate. So please, get on a local station here and get information locally because that’s the best information that we have.”

Remember, the watchword is preparedness.

Johnston said, “It takes so much stress off of you and your family if you are prepared. That means topping off your gas today, making sure you don’t have any flying projectiles in in your yard and just doing the things that we know how to do. We’ve got to remember also that we have new people in the city of Key West and in Monroe County, please make sure that you share information with them because they might not have the experience to be as prepared as you are. So we want all of our neighbors to be safe and sound. So please share your information and your procedure for hurricane preparedness with your neighbor.”

The Key West motto is One Human Family for a reason.

Johnston said, “If you have a neighbor who has moved into town, within the last year or so, please remind them that they need to sign up if they are disabled to the hotline because that’s one of the ways that we continue to check on people both pre and post storm is if you are part of that that hotline. It’s a county program.”

It looks like there’s been an upsurge in COVID as well.

Johnston said, “As we did during the height of COVID, we check for COVID in our wastewater, because that’s the most consistent manner that we can see the amount of COVID that is in the city of Key West at any one time is through our wastewater. Our numbers are very low. They’re creeping up just a little bit this last week or so. But still, in regards to the entire pandemic, they are low. So take your precautions, be comfortable with your own precautions and your own manner. I noticed, I’ve been traveling and I noticed a lot of people in the airport are wearing masks when you’re in close contact with somebody for a couple hours. So do what’s comfortable for you. But again, there’s free vaccinations out there, that if it’s your time, please get one. Be prepared, just like we asked you to be prepared for any type of weather events.”

Key West also sends condolences to the victims of a shooting in Jacksonville, FL, over the weekend.

Johnston said, “The mayor of Jacksonville, I had just attended a conference with her not more than four months ago. It’s tragic that mayor after mayor after mayor and community after community after community continues to go through this type of senseless violence. That’s why it’s so important that we remember our motto in Key West, which is One Human Family and treat each other with dignity and respect.”

September 11 Remembrance will be held on September 11 at 8:30 at the Key West Firehouse Museum.

Johnston said, “It’s just amazing every year because I speak at that remembrance and it’s just amazing how many of our citizens were not even born during 911. I think about my grandchildren who are now in college. You really need to take the time and effort to educate people as to what happened and why it’s so important that we protect our freedoms in the United States.”

The next City Commission meeting will be September 14.

For more information on the Civic Ready app to stay up to date on emergency information for Key West, click here: