Helpful Information & Resources

Emergency Checklist

Commonly Asked Questions About Disaster Preparedness

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO A PUBLIC SHELTER?

FIRST AID KIT & ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES FOR EXTENDED STAY.
BLANKETS AND/OR SLEEPING BAGS.
BABY FOOD, DIAPERS AND FORMULA
WARM PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
CARDS GAMES AND BOOKS
IDENTIFICATION AND VALUABLE PAPERS
TOILETRIES
SNACKS
BATTERY OPERATED RADIO, FLASHLIGHT
EXTRA BATTERIES
CASH OR TRAVELERS CHECKS
IF YOU HAVE A LIVING WILL OR DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDERS (DNR) BRING THEM WITH YOU.
NO ALCOHOL, FIREARMS, OR PETS UNLESS THEY ARE GUIDE/HELP ANIMALS

IF I HAVE TO EVACUATE, WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY PETS?

PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN PUBLIC SHELTERS UNLESS THEY ARE SERVICE ANIMALS

IF YOU HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR PETS, SEE THAT THEY HAVE PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER

AAA HAS A "PET-FRIENDLY" HOTEL/MOTEL GUIDE THAT IS AVAILABLE TO AAA MEMBERS


HOW DO I FIND OUT IF HOTEL ROOMS ARE AVAILABLE IN SEMINOLE COUNTY OR CENTRAL FLORIDA?

CALL THE GREATER ORLANDO VISITOR?S CENTER AT (407) 363-5872, FOR AVAILABILITY, OR LOOK IN THE YELLOW PAGES.


WHAT SHOULD I HAVE IN MY HOME TO PREPARE FOR A HURRICANE AND/OR FLOODING?

CAN OPENER, MATCHES, CANNED OR PACKAGED FOODS, POWDERED MILK, BEVERAGES (TWO WEEK NON PERISHABLE FOOD SUPPLY).
EXTRA PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE AND FIRST AID KIT, BABY FOOD, DIAPERS, AND FORMULA, PORTABLE COOLER.
WATER FOR DRINKING PURPOSES ( TWO QUARTS PER PERSON PER DAY). FILL BATHTUB AND/OR A CLEAN GARBAGE CAN WITH WATER FOR SANITARY PURPOSES.
TOILETRIES, EATING UTENSILS, FIRE EXTINGUISHER, BATTERY OPERATED RADIO AND FLASHLIGHTS, EXTRA BATTERIES.
THREE QUARTER INCH PLYWOOD TO BOARD UP WINDOWS.
LANTERNS AND FUEL, BLEACH (WITHOUT LEMON OR OTHER ADDITIVES), WATER PURIFICATION TABLETS (PURCHASE AT LOCAL PHARMACY), MOSQUITO REPELLENT.
TOOLS, INCLUDING HAMMER AND NAILS, 100 FEET OF ROPE AND DUCT TAPE.
TARP, CANVAS OR PLASTIC, AND MOSQUITO NETTING
SLEEPING BAGS AND BLANKETS.

WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO PREPARE FOR A SEVERE FLOODING EVENT?

  1. KNOW THE ELEVATION OF YOUR HOME AND SURROUNDING AREA. IF YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD PRONE AREA, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ADEQUATE FLOOD INSURANCE, WHICH IS SEPARATE FROM NORMAL HOMEOWNER INSURANCE.
  2. EVACUATE IF SO ADVISED. LEAVE THE AREA IF AUTHORITIES TELL YOU SEVERE FLOODING THREATENS THE AREA.
  3. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO WATER OF UNKNOWN DEPTH.
  4. DO NOT LET CHILDREN PLAY IN FLOODWATERS. THEY ARE OFTEN CONTAMINATED AND MAY CONTAIN HAZARDS SUCH AS OPEN DRAINS, SHARP OBJECTS, EVEN SNAKES.
  5. AFTER A FLOOD, BOIL DRINKING WATER OR USE BOTTLED WATER UNTIL ADVISED OTHERWISE BY OFFICIALS.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "HURRICANE WATCH" AND A "HURRICANE WARNING"?

A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED WHENEVER A HURRICANE BECOMES A THREAT TO THE AREA AND THE ARRIVAL OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS IS EXPECTED WITHIN 72 TO 36 HOURS (39 MPH OR HIGHER). LISTEN FOR FURTHER ADVISORIES AND BE PREPARED TO ACT PROMPTLY IF A WARNING OR EVACUATION ORDER IS GIVEN.

A HURRICANE WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN 24 TO 36 HOURS. PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS SHOULD BEGIN IMMEDIATELY. EVACUATION ORDERS WILL BE ISSUED FOR RESIDENTS IN MANUFACTURED HOMES AND SPECIAL NEEDS RESIDENTS.


WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PROTECT MY HOME FROM A HURRICANE?

BOARD UP WINDOWS OR PROTECT THEM WITH STORM SHUTTERS OR HURRICANE LAMINATION. WINDOWS ARE BROKEN MAINLY FROM FLYING DEBRIS.
SECURE OUTSIDE OBJECTS THAT MIGHT BECOME AIRBORNE ? GARBAGE CANS, GARDEN TOOLS, TOYS, SIGNS, PORCH FURNITURE, AND OTHER ITEMS THAT CAN BECOME DEADLY MISSLES IN HURRICANE WINDS.
MOOR YOUR BOAT SECURELY BEFORE THE STORM ARRIVES, OR MOVE IT TO A DESIGNATED SAFE AREA EARLY.
KEEP CAR FUELED SHOULD EVACUATION BECOME NECESSARY.
CHECK BATTERY-POWERED EQUIPMENT AND HAVE PLENTY OF SPARE BATTERIES.
ABOVE ALL KEEP TUNED TO LOCAL NEWS MEDIA FOR LATEST STORM NEWS AND SHELTER OPENINGS.

WHEN SHOULD I EVACUATE MY HOME?

ONLY WHEN INSTRUCTED BY LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS THROUGH LOCAL MEDIA SOURCES.

THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDS THAT MOBILE HOME RESIDENTS AND STUDENTS IN PORTABLE CLASSROOMS EVACUATE DURING A TORNADO WATCH.


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A ?TORNADO WATCH? AND A ?TORNADO WARNING ??

A TORNADO WATCH IS GIVEN WHEN WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR THE FORMATION OF TORNADOES, FOR EXAMPLE DURING SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. DURING A TORNADO WATCH, KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY IF CONDITIONS WORSEN.

A TORNADO WARNING IS GIVEN WHEN A TORNADO FUNNEL IS SIGHTED OR INDICATED BY RADAR. YOU SHOULD TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY. BECAUSE TORNADOES CAN FORM AND MOVE QUICKLY, THERE MAY NOT BE TIME FOR A WARNING, SO IT IS IMPORTANT TO STAY ALERT DURING SEVERE STORMS.


WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR A TORNADO?

IF YOUR AREA IS UNDER A TORNADO WARNING, SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY AND MONITOR THIS WEATHER SITUATION.
AVOID WINDOWS. FLYING GLASS CAN INJURE OR KILL. DON?T OPEN WINDOWS. HOUSES DON?T?EXPLODE? AND ALLOWING STRONG WINDS IN CAN DO DAMAGE OR CAUSE INJURY.
THE SAFEST PLACE IN THE HOME IS THE INTERIOR PART OF THE BASEMENT. WHERE THERE IS NO BASEMENT, GO TO AN INSIDE ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR, LIKE A CLOSET, HALLWAY, OR BATHROOM WITH NO WINDOWS. FOR ADDED PROTECTION GET UNDER SOMETHING STRONG ? ABOVE ALL PROTECT YOUR HEAD.
DO NOT STAY IN A MOBILE HOME DURING A TORNADO. EVEN HOMES WITH A SECURE TIE-DOWN SYSTEM CANNOT WITHSTAND THE FORCE OF TORNADO WINDS.
IF ON THE ROAD, GET OUT OF THE VEHICLE. DO NOT TRY TO OUTRUN A TORNADO IN YOUR VEHICLE. SEEK SHELTER IN A DITCH OR RAVINE, LIE FLAT AND PUT YOUR ARMS OVER YOUR HEAD. DO NOT GET UNDER A VEHICLE.
IF CAUGHT OUTSIDE, GET IN A DITCH, GULLY OR LOW SPOT ON THE GROUND. PROTECT YOUR HEAD AND BODY. DO NOT GET UNDER TREES OR A VEHICLE.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PREPARE FOR WILDFIRES?

INSTALL SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME, ESPECIALLY IN THE BEDROOM AREAS. TEST DETECTORS REGULARLY AND INSTALL NEW BATTERIES TWICE A YEAR, WHEN CLOCKS ARE CHANGED IN THE SPRING AND FALL.
HAVE PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS IN YOUR KITCHEN AND GARAGE. ENSURE EACH MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY CAN HOLD AND OPERATE THE EXTINGUISHERS AND KNOWS WHERE EACH IS LOCATED.
CONSIDER INSTALLING A HOME SPRINKLER SYSTEM. THEY CAN EXTINGUISH A FIRE WHILE YOU SLEEP OR ARE AWAY FROM HOME.
BUILD OR RE-ROOF WITH FIRE-RESISTANT ROOFING MATERIALS, IF POSSIBLE. BUILD OR RE-MODEL WITH FIRE RESISTANT MATERIALS. ALSO, ENCLOSE UNDERSIDE OF BALCONIES AND ABOVE GROUND DECKS WITH FIRE RESISTANT MATERIALS. INSTALL DOUBLE-PANED OR TRIPLE-PANED WINDOWS. LIMIT SIZE AND NUMBER OF WINDOWS THAT FACE LARGE AREAS OF VEGETATION. HEAT FROM A WILDFIRE CAN IGNITE THE FURNISHINGS INSIDE YOUR HOUSE THROUGH THESE WINDOWS.
KEEP ROOF AND GUTTERS FREE FROM DEBRIS SUCH AS PINE NEEDLES, LEAVES, ETC. REMOVE ANY DEAD BRANCHES OVERHANGING YOUR ROOF AND ALL BRANCHES WITHIN 10 FEET OF YOUR CHIMNEY. COVER YOUR CHIMNEY OUTLET AND STOVEPIPE WITH A NONFLAMMABLE SCREEN OF 1 / 2 INCH OR SMALLER MESH.
CREATE A DEFENSIBLE SPACE BY REMOVING ALL DRY GRASS, BRUSH, DEAD LEAVES, DEAD AND DOWNED TREES AT LEAST 30 FEET FROM YOUR HOME. REPLACE NATIVE PLANTS WITH ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPING PLANTS THAT ARE FIRE RESISTANT.
LOCATE FIREWOOD, SCRAP WOODPILES, LPG TANKS (BUTANE AND PROPANE) AT LEAST 30 FEET FROM YOUR HOME.
MAINTAIN EMERGENCY WATER SUPPLY THAT MEETS FIRE DEPARTMENT STANDARDS THROUGH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
  1. A COMMUNITY WATER/HYDRANT SYSTEM
  2. A COOPERATIVE EMERGENCY STORAGE TANK WITH NEIGHBORS
  3. A MINIMUM WATER STORAGE SUPPLY OF 2,500 GALLONS ON YOUR PROPERTY. THIS COULD BE A SWIMMING POOL.
IF YOU LIVE IN A RURAL AREA, MAINTAIN ADEQUATE CLEARANCE AROUND YOUR DRIVEWAY FOR FIRE/RESCUE VEHICLES TO ACCESS YOUR HOME.
IF YOUR WATER COMES FROM A WELL, CONSIDER INSTALLING AN EMERGENCY GENERATOR TO OPERATE PUMP DURING A POWER FAILURE.
CLEARLY MARK ALL EMERGENCY WATER SOURCES AND MAINTAIN EASY FIRE FIGHTER ACCESS TO THESE WATER SOURCES.
PREPLAN AN ESCAPE ROUTE FROM YOUR HOME AND NEIGHBORHOOD. DESIGNATE AN EMERGENCY MEETING PLACE FOR REUNION OF FAMILY MEMBERS ESCAPING IN SEPARATE VEHICLES.
MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS ARE READY TO PROTECT THEMSELVES WITH STOP, DROP AND ROLL SHOULD THEIR CLOTHES CATCH ON FIRE.

WHY DO I NEED A WEATHER ALERT RADIO AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

THE SEMINOLE COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ENDORSES THE USE OF WEATHER ALERT RADIOS AS THE PRIMARY MEANS TO NOTIFY THE PUBLIC ABOUT SEVERE WEATHER.

WEATHER ALERT RADIOS CAN ALERT YOU 24 HOURS A DAY IN YOUR HOME, SCHOOL, OR OFFICE, ABOUT SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS OR OTHER THREATS TO PUBLIC SAFETY, SPECIFICALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WHEN YOUR NOT MONITORING TV OR RADIO.

WEATHER ALERT RADIOS ARE RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE, USUALLY FROM $20.00 TO $75.00, AND ARE AVAILABLE AT MOST RETAIL ELECTRONIC STORES.