Charlotte County urges residents to prepare for 7-10 days without help

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Charlotte County residents should prepare for seven to 10 days on their own before emergency help arrives after Hurricane Irma.

“We’re telling everybody, seven to 10 days. Be prepared with food, water and to be without power,” Charlotte County Fire and EMS Chief Bill Van Helden said Tuesday.

Charlotte County officials declared a state of emergency as Category 5 Irma approached, but many of the county’s emergency resources are tied up helping victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Waits of 15 to 20 minutes were common at gas stations Tuesday around the county as residents filled up cars and extra containers for their generators.

No gas shortage exists, but there is a delay in distribution and residents are urged to get only the amount of gas they need, emergency management officials said.

Generators, plywood, and C and D batteries were out of stock at the Home Depot on 3941 Tamiami Trail, though more are on order, managers said.

County residents are urged to call 941-833-4000 for hurricane-related inquiries.

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