2013 News Archive
The articles below are archived from the main page of www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp.
12/04/13 - Florida Travelers Urged To Use Caution As Potentially Dense Fog Affects The State Through Friday
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials are urging residents and visitors to use caution as patches of dense morning fog may affect north, central and southwest Florida roadways through Friday morning. Expect foggy conditions as far west as Escambia County and as far southwest as Okeechobee and Collier Counties.“Warmer than normal overnight temperatures, high humidity levels, and calm winds will combine to create favorable dense fog conditions across much of the Florida Big Bend and Peninsula early Thursday and Friday morning,” said Brad Schaaf, a meteorologist with FDEM. “This fog is expected to linger until mid-morning, and motorists should be prepared for sudden drops in visibility.”
11/25/13 - Storm System Brings Potential Severe Weather, Freezing Temperatures To The State Through Thanksgiving Weekend
State and local emergency management officials are urging Florida residents and visitors to stay alert and exercise caution through the upcoming holiday as a storm system moves through the region on Tuesday. This storm system will have the potential to produce heavy rain, isolated tornadoes and damaging wind gusts.
"The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Northwest Florida and the Suwannee Valley in a slight risk area for severe weather on Tuesday, with widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms also expected along the Peninsula," said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. "Periods of heavy rain are expected, and isolated occurrences of severe weather will be possible with any strong thunderstorms that develop."
Behind the system, a cold air mass will bring sub-freezing temperatures to North Florida and cold wind chills along the entire state Wednesday night through Friday night. A large portion of northern Florida will be affected, and temperatures could reach the mid 30s over interior portions of Central Florida.
05/28/13 - "Know Your Zone" To Prepare For Hurricane Season
In preparation for the start of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges all Floridians to “Know Your Zone”. Knowing your evacuation, storm surge, and flood zone is an important step to ensuring you and your family are prepared for a hurricane.
“Knowing your evacuation zone, and how storm surge or flooding may affect you is an important part of preparing for hurricane season,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “When you plan for and mitigate these hazards, you can lessen the impact a storm may have on you and your family.”.
Floridians can find their local evacuation, storm surge and flood maps on the public mapping page of floridadisaster.org. Maps are also available via the Division's geospatial mapping tool, GATOR, at floridadisaster.org/GATOR.
11/22/13 - Risk Of Rip Currents Elevated Along Florida Atlantic Coast
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution when visiting the beach, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the entire Florida East Coast through this weekend. A moderate to high risk of rip currents is expected each day through Tuesday along the Atlantic coast from Nassau County south through Miami-Dade County. Those traveling to the beach should be aware that when red flags are flying, swimming in Florida’s coastal waters can be dangerous.“Persistent onshore winds and high waves will bring an increased threat of rip currents to all of Florida’s Atlantic Coast beaches through Sunday,” said Meteorologist Brad Schaaf, of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Beachgoers should remember to review the rip current outlook for their area, check the warning flag signs before entering the water and swim within sight of a lifeguard whenever possible.”
11/06/13 - Risk of Rip Currents Elevated Along Florida Atlantic Coast
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution when visiting the beach, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the entire Florida East Coast through this holiday weekend. A moderate to high risk of rip currents is expected each day through Sunday along the Atlantic coast from Nassau County south through Miami-Dade County. Those traveling to the beach should be aware that when red flags are flying, swimming in Florida’s coastal waters can be dangerous.
“Persistent onshore winds and high waves will bring an increased threat of rip currents to all of Florida’s Atlantic Coast beaches through Sunday,” said Bryan Koon, director of the Division of Emergency Management. “Beachgoers should remember to review the rip current outlook for their area, check the warning flag signs before entering the water and swim within sight of a lifeguard whenever possible.”
09/16/13 - FDEM Director Bryan Koon Elected Vice President Of National Emergency Management Association
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon was elected Vice President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) at the 2013 Annual Forum in Anchorage, Alaska. NEMA is a non-partisan, non-profit professional organization of and for the emergency management directors of each U.S. state and territory. Director Koon will assume the role of NEMA President in 2014.
“I thank my colleagues at NEMA for providing me with the opportunity to serve as the Vice President for the 2013-2014 term of office,” says Koon. “I look forward to collaborating with my state counterparts and improving how we manage disasters across the country. Through NEMA we can learn from one another and create an open dialogue on how to advance the field of emergency management.”
10/06/13 - Tropical Storm Karen Watches And Warnings Dropped
Emergency Operations Center Returns to Normal Operations
The Florida State Emergency Response Team returns to normal operations following the downgrade of Tropical Storm Karen. On October 6, 2013 at 8:30am the State Emergency Operations Center transitioned backed to Level Three operations following the latest report from the National Hurricane Center.
“Tropical Storm Karen became a tropical depression overnight. The State Emergency Operations Center returned to Level Three, normal operations this morning,” said FDEM Director Bryan Koon. “Citizens along the Florida panhandle should continue to monitor local weather reports, listen to warnings regarding rip currents, and other potential hazards.”
09/04/13 - Governor Scott Proclaims September Florida Preparedness Month
~Get a plan for your family or business and
stock your disaster supply kit today~
Governor Scott proclaims September as Florida Preparedness Month. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) reminds Floridians and visitors to prepare for all types of disasters by having an emergency preparedness plan and a disaster supply kit.
While September is the historical peak of hurricane season, Florida also experiences natural hazards such as extreme heat, thunderstorms, tornadoes, wildfire, floods, and drought. There is no better time than today to get a plan for your family or business.
“Florida Preparedness Month serves as a reminder to Florida’s residents and visitors that a disaster can happen any time and the best way to recover is by preparing,” said FDEM Director Bryan Koon. “Take the time to review your family and business plan. Ensure your disaster supply kit is complete with the recommended items. Do not wait until a disaster happens to confirm your plans.”
08/22/13 - Bay County Approved For Public Assistance For July Flooding
~Four Panhandle counties eligible for Public Assistance Grants~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) received notification Thursday, August 22, that Bay County was added to the federal disaster declaration for public assistance for the severe storms and flooding that took place throughout the July 4 holiday week. On August 2, Governor Rick Scott announced that the state of Florida received a disaster declaration to assist with the recovery efforts for Holmes, Walton and Washington Counties.
“We are happy the federal government recognized the legitimacy of the request for public assistance in Bay County,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “With the help of the public assistance grant program, communities are able to continue the recovery process and return to normal more quickly after a disaster.”
08/16/13 - Heavy Rainfall Expected Across North Florida
~A flash flood watch has been issued across North Florida effective until Sunday~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge residents and visitors to be aware and use caution this weekend as a flash flood watch has been issued for North Florida. A watch means that there is a potential for a flash flooding event in the designated areas. You should take the necessary steps to prepare your family and property for possible impacts. Rainfall totals are expected to be 5 to 7 inches with heavier amounts in isolated areas.“A stalled frontal boundary, tropical moisture from the south and other conditions are conducive for heavy rainfall across North Florida,” says FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “Primary threats from this weather system include flooding, gusty winds and frequent lightning. It is important to monitor local forecasts and follow directions from local officials.”
08/03/13 - Panhandle Counties Receive Federal Disaster Declaration For July Floods
Governor Rick Scott announced Friday, August 2, that the State of Florida received a Presidential Disaster Declaration to assist Panhandle Counties affected by severe storms and flooding over the July 4 holiday week. Holmes, Walton and Washington Counties have been declared for Public Assistance.
“Helping communities return to normal after a disaster is our first priority and this assistance is an important first step in that process,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program provides grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. Costs for repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities can also be covered under Public Assistance.
Counties across the Panhandle felt significant impacts to homes, roadways, and infrastructure due to the rainfall received. Areas of the Florida Panhandle received over twelve inches of rain between July 2-7. Walton and Washington Counties received nearly 20 inches of rain. Rivers in the Florida Panhandle reached flood stage, including the Choctawhatchee River in Walton County, which reached major flood stage. The estimated damage across the three counties totals $28,688,235.40.
07/30/13 - FDEM Responds To Gas Plant Explosion In Lake County
The Florida Division of Emergency Management responded overnight to a gas plant explosion in Tavares, FL. State responders provided support to the Lake County emergency officials and law enforcement for the Blue Rhino fire in Lake County. No fatalities have been reported and the situation has been contained. An evacuation of the surrounding area was ordered overnight, but has since been lifted.
“The Governor’s Office has been briefed on the incident in Lake County and we continue to monitor the situation and assist the local emergency responders as requested,” said FDEM Director Bryan Koon. “Florida has a well trained and experienced cadre of emergency officials and I am confident in their ability to respond quickly and effectively to this isolated event.
07/24/13 - Governor Scott Requests Major Disaster Declaration For Panhandle
Governor Rick Scott made a request on Wednesday, July 24 to President Barack Obama for the State of Florida to receive a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance to aid Florida counties impacted by flooding over the July 4 holiday week. An estimated $29 million of damage was caused to infrastructure across Panhandle communities when heavy rain fell the first week of July.
“The amount of rainfall caused significant damage to communities in the Florida Panhandle. Counties received damage which totals more than four times the county’s budget for roadway infrastructure for an entire year,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director (FDEM), Bryan W. Koon. “I am confident the federal government understands the financial impact this has on these communities and the importance of federal assistance to aid in the recovery.”
Bay, Holmes, Okaloosa, Walton and Washington counties received significant damage to homes, roadways, and infrastructure due to the rainfall received. Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments were conducted with representatives from the counties, the State and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The estimated damage in the five county area totals $29,862,883.40. In Florida, the damage threshold for federal disaster relief assistance is $25,757,794.70.
07/11/13 - Florida Emergency Managers Deploy To Alaska To Assist Survivors Of 2013 Spring Flooding
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) responded to a request from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for assistance with their response to the spring flooding affecting residents along the Yukon River. Alaska received a Presidential Disaster Declaration on June 25 providing individual and public assistance to the affected boroughs.
All fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation to become partners in the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) which allows assistance across state lines. Using the EMAC program, Florida provided assistance to Alaska by means of personnel that could assist with organizing volunteers and donations as well as communication.
Monday, July 1 the Florida Division of Emergency Management deployed External Affairs Director, Julie Roberts, and Public Information Specialist, Margaret Sanders to Anchorage to work with the Alaska communication team. Emergency officials across Florida stand ready to lend knowledge and expertise to assist fellow emergency managers in Alaska if additional needs arise.
“After any disaster, it is important to lend a hand to support our neighbors,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Florida’s emergency officials are grateful for the opportunity to assist survivors as well as hone response and recovery skills to better serve Floridians in future disasters.”
07/03/13 - Floridians Reminded To Practice Safety Over Fourth Of July Holiday
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) reminds all Florida’s residents and visitors to practice safety over the upcoming Fourth of July holiday, and to continue to monitor the weather throughout the state, as tropical moisture brings wet conditions across the state through the end of the week. An elevated risk of rip currents is also expected along many of Florida’s beaches this week, and all beachgoers should check the beach warning flags before entering the water.
“Being aware of the weather in your area, and knowing the precautions you should take are the keys to a safe and enjoyable celebration this Fourth of July holiday,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Using caution and taking extra time on wet and rainy roadways, checking beach warning flags before swimming at Florida’s beaches, and practicing fire safety when enjoying fireworks are some simple steps you can take to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe.”
05/31/13 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Announces Pilot Program With Mobile TV During 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced today a partnership with the National Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, and Dyle Mobile TV to participate in a pilot program to test mobile TV devices during the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Details of the program were unveiled today at an event at Florida International University, Wall of Wind Research Center. The pilot program will provide members of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) with mobile TV devices that will deliver live, local information in the event of a hurricane.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with Dyle Mobile TV, the National Association of Broadcasters and the Florida Association of Broadcasters to utilize these devices and further our emergency coordination and capabilities during a disaster,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Florida is one of the leading states in the nation in emergency management and, through partnerships like this one we can ensure that Florida remains a leading destination to work, live and visit.”
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins Saturday, June 1st.
05/30/13 - Governor Scott Urges Floridians To Be Prepared For Hurricane Season During National Hurricane Preparedness Week
Today, Governor Rick Scott called on Florida families to “GET A PLAN!” and visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for tips on how to prepare and keep loved ones safe should a hurricane strike the Sunshine State. The press conference was held at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center.
Governor Scott said, “Saturday marks the official start of the 2013 hurricane season. Last year was predicted to be a slow season, but with three weather events impacting Florida, as well as the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, we saw firsthand how one storm can significantly alter a community. Last year also marked the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, a hurricane that devastated many Florida communities and change the way we prepare and respond to a disaster. Following the storm, the world witnessed the resilience of Florida’s citizens as we recovered and rebuilt our communities.
“We’ve worked to keep families in Miami-Dade safe by investing more than $22 million this year in state and federal funding to ensure this community is protected as best possible for hurricanes. Preparing for the upcoming hurricane season should be a priority for every Florida family and that’s why it’s so importance families ‘GET A PLAN!’ and visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for critical life saving tips.”
06/10/13 - FDEM Hosts Public-Private Sector Disaster Preparedness Summit In Orlando
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will host the second annual Florida Public-Private Sector Disaster Preparedness Summit in Orlando, Florida Tuesday, June 11 through Thursday, June 13, 2013 at the International Palms Resort.
The Summit will provide emergency personnel from local, state and federal agencies the opportunity to meet with private sector representatives from various industries to build working relationships and foster partnerships between the public and private sector. The summit will work to continue the discussions identified during last year's inaugural summit, and to further identify ways to integrate the private sector into all phases of emergency management.
Public sector speakers at this year's summit will include FDEM Director Bryan Koon, Jesse Panuccio, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and Phil Strouse, Region 4 Federal Emergency Management Agency. Representatives from the private sector include executives from Target Corporation, Walgreens Co., and Waffle House Inc. Joseph Myers, CEO of Disaster Strategies and Ideas Group, LLC, will address on Wednesday during the annual luncheon.
Director Koon will present A-C-T Environmental and Infrastructure, Inc. with the Florida Small Business Resiliency Award during the closing session on Thursday. The award recognizes small businesses who demonstrate preparedness and recovery abilities worthy of emulation.
Director Koon will be available for interviews with the media at the summit on Wednesday, June 12th. Requests should be coordinated through FDEM External Affairs 850-921-0217.
06/08/13 - State Emergency Operations Center Returns To Monitoring After Tropical Storm Andrea
The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee returned to a Level 3, Monitoring, after Tropical Storm Andrea exited Florida on Friday, June 7. Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution over the weekend, as lingering effects could be felt in an elevated risk of rip currents for many Florida beaches, as well as possible flooded roadways in some areas of the state.
All beachgoers should follow instructions of lifeguards when visiting Florida beaches, and check the beach warning flags before swimming. Before you leave for the beach, check the latest National Weather Service forecast for local beach conditions, and always assume rip currents are present even if you don't see them.
If you encounter a flooded roadway, remember, Turn Around, Don't Drown. Never drive onto a flooded roadway. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take your time when travelling.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 November 30. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at @FLSERT.and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.
06/06/13 - Officials Remind Floridians To Practice Safety As Tropical Storm Andrea Approaches The Gulf Coast
The State Emergency Operations Center is currently activated to a Level II (Partial Activation) in response to Tropical Storm Andrea.
At 11AM EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Andrea was located approximately 110 miles west of Tampa or 110 miles south-southeast of Apalachicola. Movement was toward the northeast at 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph with higher gusts. The current forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for the storm to continue on a northeasterly track, reaching the Florida Big Bend coast later today.
- A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Boca Grande to Indian Pass along the Florida Gulf Coast, and from Flagler Beach northward along the Florida Atlantic Coast.
- Flood Watches are in effect for much of the state.
- A Tornado Watch is in effect for entire Florida peninsula until 10PM EDT.
- SEOC activated to a Level II (Partial Activation) at 6:00PM EDT on June 5.
Major Road/Bridge Closures
- Road closure information can be found at the following link: http://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/traffic
Recommended Public Safety Actions:
- Stay informed. Residents and visitors should heed all instructions from local officials and stay tuned to local media for the latest information on Tropical Storm Andrea. Ensure your All-Hazards Weather Radio is turned on and ready to receive alerts.
- Follow Beach Warning Flags. If you go to the beach, pay attention to the warning flags and do not swim if beaches are closed. Tropical storms, including Andrea, increase the risk of dangerous rip currents.
- Turn Around, Don’t Drown. If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take your time when travelling.
- Avoid downed power lines. If you see a downed power line, assume it is live and contact the utility.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at @FLSERT.and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.
06/06/13 - Tropical Storm Andrea Continues To Impact Florida
~~Storm brings risk of rip currents, flooding and severe weather~ ~
As Tropical Storm Andrea continues to approach the Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials warn Floridians to be prepared for possible rip currents, flooding and severe weather. Areas of the Florida Peninsula are already feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Andrea, and Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for the Florida Gulf Coast from Charlotte County to Franklin County, and along the Atlantic Coast north from Flagler County. Several inland Big Bend and North Florida counties are also included in the Tropical Storm Warning.
"All Floridians, especially those within warning areas, should be closely monitoring this storm and finalizing any necessary preparations," said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "It is important to follow all instructions from local officials and watch for updates via local media, and on facebook.com/FloridaSert and @FLSERT."
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area in the next 36 hours. Areas of the Florida Peninsula may see severe weather including gusty winds, lightning strikes and possible tornadoes throughout the day Thursday as Andrea makes landfall. Residents and visitors should ensure they have their All-Hazards Weather Radios turned on and ready to receive alerts. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter in a sturdy building in an interior room, away from doors and windows.
A high risk of rip currents is expected along the entire Florida Gulf Coast through early Saturday, and all beachgoers should use caution when entering the water. The North and Central Atlantic coast will see a moderate to high risk of rip currents beginning Thursday morning and lasting through the weekend. It is important to remember that if double red flags are flying, the beach is closed to the public.
Tropical Storm Andrea is expected to bring significant amounts of rain to the state and flood watches are in effect for a majority of the Florida Peninsula through Friday morning. Flood watches remain in effect for Southwest Florida, all of Central Florida, and Northeast Florida. A Flash Flood Watch is also in effect for Florida Big Bend and some eastern Panhandle Counties.
06/05/13 - Floridians Urged To Monitor Storm System In Gulf Of Mexico
~Storm system brings risk of rip currents, flooding, and severe weather~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge Floridians to stay alert as a storm system in the Gulf of Mexico will bring the potential threat for heavy rainfall and severe weather through Friday.
"The forecast and the strength of this system as it approaches landfall is still uncertain, and impacts from the storm may be felt statewide" said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "All Floridians should monitor local impacts of this storm and follow all instructions from loca officials. You can also find updates from the Division on social media at facebook.com/FloridaSert and @FLSERT."
Impacts from this system are already being felt in South and Central Florida, and these areas will continue to feel affects throughout the day on Thursday. A high risk of rip currents is expected along the entire Florida Gulf Coast through early Saturday. The North and Central Atlantic coast will see a moderate to high risk of rip currents beginning Thursday morning and lasting through the weekend.
The entire Florida Peninsula may see a chance of severe weather Thursday, with the
possibility of tornadoes. In addition, gusty winds and lightning strikes will be possible with any thunderstorms that develop.
This system could bring 6-7 inches of rain to South Florida, 4-6 inches across the Florida Peninsula, and 1-3 inches in the Florida Panhandle over the next three days, with increased amounts in isolated areas. Flood watches are already in effect for portions of the state.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 November 30. For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. Follow us on Twitter at @FLSERT.and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.
05/26/12 - Florida Emergency Officials Recognize May 26 – June 1, 2013 As National Hurricane Preparedness Week
National Hurricane Preparedness Week began May 26 and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) reminds all Floridians to use this week to ensure they are prepared for hurricane season, which begins June 1. All Floridians should take the opportunity to review family and business emergency plans and restock disaster supply kits.
“National Hurricane Preparedness Week is an excellent opportunity for all Floridians to review plans and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I urge all Florida’s residents and visitors to go to floridadisaster.org to Get A Plan and learn how to protect themselves and their families from a disaster.”
If you already have a family and business disaster plan and supply kit, now is the time to review, recycle and restock for 2013. If you are creating your first disaster plan and supply kit, use the information and tips at floridadisaster.org for help. You can also find information and activities for kids at kidsgetaplan.com.
05/21/13 - Florida Emergency Officials Stand Ready To Assist Oklahoma Tornado Survivors
~Floridians are reminded to donate wisely to survivors~
Emergency officials from across Florida stand ready to assist those affected by the Oklahoma tornado. The Florida State Emergency Response Team is in communication with emergency officials in Oklahoma and is working through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support response efforts.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those impacted by yesterday’s tornado in Oklahoma,” said Bryan W. Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Our teams are actively working through the proper channels to support the survivors and first responders as they work to respond to and recover from this devastating event.”
All Floridians can help the survivors of this event by donating through established relief organizations. Donating cash through established relief organizations allows for versatility to meet needs as they arise. If you have goods to donate, be sure to confirm the need through a relief organization before donating.
05/20/13 - Florida's 2013 Statewide Hurricane Exercise Under Way
~Annual exercise works to prepare emergency managers for upcoming season~
Florida's State Emergency Response Team (SERT) hosts the 2013 Statewide Hurricane Exercise Monday, May 20 through Thursday, May 23 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. The annual exercise serves to practice Florida's emergency plans and procedures for a potential hurricane making landfall in the state, in preparation for the upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season. Along with federal, local and private-sector partners, SERT will simulate emergency response efforts to manage an evolving hurricane scenario.
The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins Saturday, June 1. Make sure your family and business are prepared to follow the instructions of local officials if a hurricane threatens your community by knowing the nearest shelter, making an evacuation plan and having a disaster supply kit.
04/29/13 - Risk Of Rip Currents Elevated Along Florida Atlantic Coast
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind beachgoers to use caution as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along Florida Atlantic Coast beaches through the middle of this week. A high risk of rip currents is expected through tomorrow along the Florida East Coast, from Volusia County south through Miami-Dade County. Remaining beaches along the Northeast Florida coastline from Nassau County through Flagler County, as well as portions of the western Panhandle from Escambia through Okaloosa County, will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Ocean swells combined with tidal effects will generate an elevated risk of rip currents on the state’s east coast beaches early this week,” said FDEM Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “It is important to swim within sight of a lifeguard and heed all directions from beach warning flags when at the beach, and to know what you should do if you are caught in a rip current.”
04/24/13 - Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents Along Some Florida Beaches
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution at the beach this week, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the Florida Panhandle and East Central Florida beaches through the end of the week. A high risk of rip currents is expected today in the Panhandle from Escambia through Okaloosa County, as well as along the Atlantic coast from Volusia through Martin County. Remaining portions of the Florida East Coast will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Strong onshore winds and waves will generate an elevated risk of rip currents for many of Florida’s beaches this week,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “When at the beach, it is important to check the beach warning flags before swimming and to swim within sight of a lifeguard. Beachgoers can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.”
04/11/13 - Severe Weather Possible Overnight Across Northwest Florida
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution this evening as a severe weather threat is possible for the Panhandle of Florida. Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in your home of office to receive warnings from the National Weather and follow all instructions from local officials.
“Although scattered showers and storms will be possible this afternoon, the severe weather threat will occur mainly after sundown,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “It is important to monitor your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio for the latest severe weather information, and know what you would do if a watch or warning is issued for your area.”
04/10/13 - Wildfire Awareness Week In Florida Is April 8-12, 2013
In recognition of April 8-12, 2013 as Wildfire Awareness Week in the State of Florida, the Florida Division of Emergency Management encourages all Floridians to take the opportunity to update wildfire emergency plans and learn how best to protect themselves and their property from the danger of wildfires.
“Wildfires can occur year round in Florida,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “Have a current emergency plan and be proactive in your efforts to keep your home and family safe during a fire emergency by taking necessary precautions.”
Typically, Florida experiences more than 4,600 wildfires, burning nearly 110,000 acres of land a year. This year, Florida has faced over 1,000 wildfires on 20,430 acres. The three leading causes of wildfires are arson, uncontrolled yard debris or trash fires, and lightning.
03/25/13 - Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents Along Florida Panhandle And Gulf Coast Beaches
~All beachgoers should check beach warning flags
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution at the beach this week, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast through Wednesday. A high risk of rip currents is expected in Walton and Bay counties today, as well as along the Sun Coast from Pinellas to Collier County. Remaining portions of the Florida Gulf Coast will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Strong winds over the Gulf of Mexico will generate an elevated risk of rip currents for the Florida Gulf Coast,” said FDEM Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “It is important for all beachgoers to check the beach warning flags before swimming and to swim within sight of a lifeguard. Floridians can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.”
03/22/13 - Severe Weather Possible for Northwest Florida This Weekend
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution this weekend as a low pressure system is forecast to bring severe weather across Northwest Florida and the Suwannee River Valley on Saturday. Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in your home of office to receive warnings from the National Weather and follow all instructions from local officials.
"The timing of the severe weather will be two-fold as this low pressure system causes a warm front to lift through the Panhandle and Big Bend on Saturday afternoon or early evening before a cold front sweeps through the area late Saturday night and Sunday morning," said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. "Be sure to pay close attention to the forecasts for your area and visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for more information on how to stay safe during severe weather."
03/10/13 - GET A PLAN! During National Flood Safety Awareness Week
~FDEM encourages Floridians
to understand flood safety and preparedness~
National Flood Safety Awareness Week is March 18 22 and the Florida Division of Emergency Management encourages residents and visitors to take time this week to learn about flood safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) have joined together in an effort to inform citizens about flood risk and the potential impact it has on people and property.
“Last year, many Floridians across the state experienced the affects of flooding, during Tropical Storms Beryl and Debby, Hurricane Isaac and other isolated weather events,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Floridians should take this opportunity to understand the impacts flooding can have and learn how they can protect their families and businesses by reviewing their flood risks and taking necessary steps to be better prepared.”
03/09/13 - FDEM Announces 2013 SWAW Video PSA Contest Winners
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), in conjunction with National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, announces the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) Middle and High School Contest winners.
FDEM and partners would like to congratulate the high school winner Justin Burt of Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, FL, and the wining middle school team of Aolani Brown, Danielle Charboneau, Reanne DeGraff and Amilah Eoonous of Liberty Middle School in Ocala, FL. Students from across the state submitted entries in this year's contest, and the public voted for their favorites from among the finalists.
"I would like to congratulate each of the finalists for their entries to this year's contest. For their efforts to help Floridians prepare for severe weather, each finalist will receive a scholarship provided through Volunteer Florida to help prepare for their future education," said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, all Floridians should remember to remain aware of severe weather throughout the year to be sure our families and communities are prepared."
To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/20/13 - FDEM Announces First-Ever Online Voting In Video PSA Contest For 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week
~Vote online via Kids Get A Plan Facebook Page through March 1~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) encourages Floridians to vote in the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. Six finalists were selected from more than thirty video entries submitted by middle and high school students from around the state.
Voting continues through March 1 on the Kids Get A Plan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan. The winner from the middle school and high school will be announced during National Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 4 8, 2013.
To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/25/13 - Safety Is Vital As Risk Of Flooding Increases In North Florida
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) reminds Florida’s residents and visitors to use caution this week as storms continue to bring significant rainfall and flood risks to North Florida and the Panhandle. Another one to three inches of rain is forecast to occur through Tuesday afternoon. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend, and River Flood Warnings have been issued for 11 Florida rivers. A possibility of severe storms in North and Central Florida may also bring gusty winds and isolated tornadoes through Tuesday.
“It is important for Floridians to use caution and practice flood safety as additional rainfall impacts already saturated areas,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I urge all Floridians to continue to monitor local media and follow all instructions from local officials. If you encounter a flooded roadway it is important to remember to Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
Due to existing elevated river water levels and additional runoff from recent rainfall, several rivers in Northwest Florida are forecast to rise above flood stage and crest later this week. River Flood Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for the Apalachicola, Big Coldwater Creek, Blackwater, Chipola, Choctawhatchee, Escambia, Ochlocknee, Perdido, Shoal, Styx, and Yellow rivers, impacting Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties.
02/21/13 - Storm Systems May Bring Significant Rainfall To Florida Panhandle
~Potential for Flash Floods and River Flooding of largest concern for Floridians~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge Florida’s residents and visitors to remain aware this weekend and into next week, as two storm systems bring the potential for significant rainfall and flood risks to the Florida Panhandle. Some areas may see up to four inches of rainfall through Tuesday, with locally heavier amounts of up to eight inches possible. The National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties through Saturday.
“Two storm systems moving across the Southeast will bring heavy amounts of rainfall and widespread potential for flooding in the Florida Panhandle,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “Floridians should monitor these systems closely and take necessary precautions should a flood watch or warning be issued for their area. If you encounter a flooded roadway it is important to remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”In addition, river flooding is a concern for the Florida Panhandle. The Choctawhatchee River near Bruce and the Escambia River near Century are currently in minor flood stage. The Chipola River near Marianna and Altha and the Apalachicola River near Blounstown may also see elevated flooding potential with this system. Along with heavy rainfall, the storm systems bring a risk of severe thunderstorms and damaging wind gusts, and the Storm Prediction Center has placed a portion of the Florida Panhandle under a slight risk for severe storms for Friday.
02/04/13 - 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Winners Announced
~Online voting for Video PSA Contest through March 1st~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announces the winners of the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week poster contest and the finalists in the Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. More than 1,000 students from across Florida participated in the Severe Weather Awareness Week Contests.
“The Severe Weather Awareness Week contests are an opportunity for young people from around the state to learn what they can do to be prepared for hazards that affect their communities and to build a culture of preparedness in Florida,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I want to thank each student who submitted an entry to this year’s contests, and congratulate each winner and finalist.”
Winners for the elementary school poster contest were selected from each of the seven regions for FDEM. Poster contest winners will be honored at an event in their school during the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week, February 11 - 15.
FDEM is encouraging the public to play a role in this year's 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA contest. For the month of February, Floridians will have a chance to vote on their favorite video PSA from among the finalists listed. To vote visit the Kids Get A Plan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.
To view the list of poster contest winners and video finalists, visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/SWAW/
02/13/13 - Florida Statewide Tornado Drill Postponed To Friday, February 15
Florida's statewide tornado drill has been rescheduled to take place on Friday, February 15, 2013, at 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time due to the chance of severe weather in North Florida on Wednesday. Floridians are reminded to monitor local weather conditions and heed all instructions from local officials.
School districts, private schools, preschools and daycare centers are urged to participate in the drill. The simulated tornado warning will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and will be encoded as a weekly test for this drill. All procedures for the drill remain the same. For more information, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/11/13 - FDEM's 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Tour Begins
~Seven poster contest winners to be recognized in five day tour~
Governor Rick Scott proclaimed February 11-15 as 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will celebrate 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week with a five-day, seven city tour to recognize each of the seven poster contest winners and raise awareness about emergency preparedness in Florida. The goal of the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign is to promote preparedness for all types of hazards to Florida’s citizens and communities.
“We are excited to bring Severe Weather Awareness Week to each region of the state as we work towards building a culture of preparedness in Florida through our students,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “As we visit each school, we hope to reach beyond their doors and into the communities to ensure all of Florida’s families and businesses are prepared for severe weather that can impact Florida any time of year.”
Games, prizes and special guests will highlight the importance of severe weather awareness in Florida as students learn how to recognize and be prepared for potential disasters that may impact them and their families. FDEM kicked off Severe Weather Awareness Week last week at the Florida State Fair in Tampa with Professor Nibmus Tinkermesiter of Kids Get a Plan and FDEM staff to spread the word about disaster preparedness and this week’s events.
02/08/13 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Completes Operation Radar II
~Exercise tests communications interoperability between local, state and federal partners~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) today completed Operation Radar II, an interoperable communications exercise among local, state, federal, nongovernmental and private emergency response partners. This exercise took place at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, FL, from Monday, February 4, through Friday, February 8. Approximately 500 individuals from around the nation participated, comprising 109 teams, from 52 different locations.“Interoperable communications is a critical element to ensure a smooth response and recovery from disasters of every level so that emergency responders can communicate essential information,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Operation Radar provided an opportunity for participants to not only test equipment, but also use and vet regional and state interoperable communications plans.”
01/31/13 - Governor Scott's Florida Families First Budget Funds $254 Million In Florida Division Of Emergency Management
~Local merit funding tops emergency management budget priorities~
Governor Scott’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget fully funds the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s (FDEM) priorities for financial assistance to state and local governments for public awareness, outreach programs, floods and disaster mitigation programs.
The Governor’s recommendation for FDEM’s budget is $254 million, of which $16 million is General Revenue. FDEM’s budget includes an increase over current year by $28 million. The increase is directly proportionate to the projected costs of Tropical Storm Debby that hit Florida in 2012. The budget funds the following:
- $188.9M Federally Declared Disasters, $16 million is General Revenue
- $4M Repetitive Flood Claims the Severe Repetitive Loss Program
- $7.2M Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program
- $6M Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
- $14.8M Emergency Management Performance Grant
- $3M Hurricane Shelter Retrofits
01/29/13 - Weekly Report
01/29/13 - Storm System Brings Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents, Chance Of Severe Weather
~Beachgoers and boaters should use caution and remain aware of weather conditions~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution as a cold front approaching the state will bring a risk of severe weather to North Florida and an elevated risk of rip currents along many of Florida’s beaches this week. The Storm Prediction Center has placed most areas of the Panhandle and the Big Bend under a Slight Risk of severe weather on Wednesday.
Increasing onshore winds along Florida’s southeast coast will generate a high rip current risk from Palm Beach County through Miami-Dade County and a moderate risk from Volusia County through Martin County today. Winds will continue to shift and strengthen ahead of the cold front and these conditions will bring rough surf and a high rip current risk to the beaches of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. By Thursday, winds will continue to shift and the rip current risk will likely elevate along both the Peninsula Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast through the end of the week.“A squall line expected to develop ahead of the cold front will have the potential to bring severe weather and an elevated risk of rip currents to areas of the Panhandle and North Florida,” said FDEM Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “All Floridians should monitor weather conditions and know what to do in the event of a watch or warning for their area, and beachgoers should be sure to check the beach warning flags before swimming.”
11/28/12 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management And American Red Cross Announce 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Chapters of the American Red Cross announce the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week. This annual public awareness campaign provides an opportunity for teachers to educate students on the importance of being prepared in the event of severe weather. The 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida will be Monday, February 11, through Friday, February 15, 2013.
"In the 13th year of the program, the Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week is a reminder of the importance of preparedness year-round for all Floridians,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The partnership between the Division and the American Red Cross Chapters throughout Florida is the perfect opportunity to promote a culture of preparedness across Florida. When you educate students on preparedness they get excited and share with their families and they grow up to be prepared.”
Severe Weather Awareness Week includes a poster contest for Florida’s elementary school students and a video public service announcement (PSA) contest for Florida’s middle and high school students. This year, the poster contest will include seven winners selected from across the state. One winner each from middle and high school will be selected for the video PSA contest.
“We are delighted to have a continuing partnership with the Division of Emergency Management on the annual poster contest,” said Katie Sherk, of the American Red Cross. “It’s an inspiring outreach effort that is especially rewarding when we receive the student’s entries. It really does get our youth engaged in disaster preparedness in a way that is helping to build a culture of preparedness in Florida.”
01/01/13 - Weekly Report
December 6, 2013 13:59