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2010 News Archive

The articles below are archived from the Main Page of www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp.

 

12/31/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Weekend For Florida's Southeastern Coast

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast from Palm Beach County south to Miami-Dade County to use extreme caution this weekend as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected Friday and Saturday due to strong onshore winds. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

"Rip currents can be life-threatening to anyone entering the water along the beaches of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties this holiday weekend," State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. "Beachgoers and surfers should check the rip current outlook, swim near lifeguards and remember the beach warning flag system before going into the water to ensure a safe and enjoyable Florida beach experience."

Rip Currents for Southeastern Coast release

12/30/10 - High Risk of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Holiday Weekend for Western Florida Panhandle Beaches

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers to use caution today through Saturday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Gulf Coast from Bay County west to Escambia County. There is also an elevated threat for rip currents this weekend along the beaches of Gulf and Franklin County. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

"Strong southeast winds across the northern Gulf Coast will increase Thursday and persist into the New Year as a cold front approaches from the west. These winds are expected to cause rough surf and favorable conditions for strong and frequent rip currents," said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. "Beachgoers in the Florida Panhandle should check the rip current outlook and remember the warning flag signs before entering the water this holiday weekend."

Rip Currents for Western Panhandle Beaches release

12/26/10 - Polar Air Mass to Bring Freezing Temperatures Across Florida Tonight Through Wednesday

TALLAHASSEE - - Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark tonight and is expected to continue through Wednesday. Very strong northwesterly winds will be pushing a polar air mass into the southeast throughout the next few days and will push wind chill values into the teens. A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for all of Florida tonight.

“This system will bring not only extremely cold temperatures and wind chill, but will also bring with it very dry weather,” said Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “These dry conditions make it very possible for dangerous wildfires to occur and spread. We encourage all Floridians to not only practice cold weather safety, but to protect themselves and their property from wildfires.”

Polar Air Mass to Bring Freezing Temperatures Across Florida Tonight Through Wednesday

12/26/10 - High Risk of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Along Peninsula Gulf Coast Beaches Through Monday

TALLAHASSEE - - Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Peninsula Gulf Coast to use caution as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected today through Monday due to strong winds from the Northwest. The cold, windy conditions are bringing dangerous rip currents to the counties of Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee.

“The northwesterly winds now bringing extremely cold temperatures across the state will also cause a high risk of rip currents along the Peninsula Gulf Coast,” said Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “Residents and visitors to the Gulf beaches should use extreme caution while on the beach, check the rip current outlook and follow any instructions from safety officials.”

High Risk of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Along Peninsula Gulf Coast Beaches Through Monday

12/23/10 - Complex Weather System to Bring Freezing Temperatures and Rain This Weekend Across North Florida

TALLAHASSEE - - Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging all residents and visitors to take extreme precaution this holiday weekend when traveling on roadways as a complex weather system will bring freezing temperatures and rain to parts of Northern Florida.

“The Sunshine State doesn’t often experience the combination of cold temperatures and rain,” said Director David Halstead of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Therefore it is extremely important that travelers take extra precautions during this cold weather event, in case the rain causes icy roadways and hazardous driving conditions.”

Complex Weather System to Bring Freezing Temperatures and Rain This Weekend Across North Florida

12/22/10 - Emergency Management Officals Remind All Floridians to Practice Cold Weather Safety Throughout the Holiday Season

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to practice cold weather safety this holiday season.

“Weather forecasts are indicating that we may experience colder than usual temperatures over the next week,” said Division of Emergency Management Director, David Halstead. “As we gather with friends and family to enjoy the holiday season, it is important to keep in mind those cold weather safety tips that could prevent unnecessary injury.”

Emergency Management Officals Remind All Floridians to Practice Cold Weather Safety Throughout the Holiday Season

12/16/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Across Panhandle And Western Big Bend Beaches Today

Rip Current ImageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use extreme caution as a high risk of rip currents is expected today. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“A change in wind direction combined with offshore waves reaching heights of seven feet has caused an elevated risk of rip currents for Panhandle and Western Big Bend beaches today,” said Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “Beachgoers should use extra caution as even in shallow water, strong wave action can cause loss of footing and rip currents can pull unsuspecting swimmers away from shore.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Across Panhandle And Western Big Bend Beaches Today Release

12/13/10 - Weekly Report

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12/13/10 - Strong Northwest Winds Expected To Produce Dangerous Rip Currents Along Gulf Coast Beaches Today

Rip Current ImageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the majority of the Gulf Coast to use caution as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected today due to strong winds from the Northwest. The cold, breezy conditions will bring a high risk of rip currents to Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties in North Florida. Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties are also at high risk.

“The same northwesterly winds that are producing extremely cold temperatures across the state will also cause a high risk of rip currents along the Gulf Coast,” said Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “Residents and visitors to the Gulf beaches should check the rip current outlook before entering the water and follow any instructions from safety officials.”

Strong Northwest Winds Expected To Produce Dangerous Rip Currents Along Gulf Coast Beaches Today Release

12/13/10 - Arctic Cold Front Continues To Bring Coldest Temperatures Yet This Season Across Florida Through Wednesday

cold weather imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging all residents and visitors throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark tonight through Wednesday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Warning for all of North and Central Florida, and also for Glades, Hendry and Palm Beach counties.  A Freeze Warning has also been issued for the rest of South Florida. The entire state is under either a Wind Chill Advisory or Warning, depending on the location.

“Temperatures across the state tonight and tomorrow will be the lowest yet thus far this season, with some areas experiencing temperatures nearly 30 degrees lower than normal for this time of year,” said Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “It is vital that all residents and visitors remember the “Five P’s” of cold weather safety: Protect People, Protect Plants, Protect Pets, Protect Exposed Pipes, and Practice Fire Safety.”

Arctic Cold Front Continues To Bring Coldest Temperatures Across Florida Release

12/09/10 - Weekly Report

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12/10/10 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management To Be Featured Partner With Radio Disney For Holiday Concert In Celebration, FL

Florida Division of Emergency Management will be the highlighted organization during Radio Disney’s Holiday Concert in Celebration, FL. The Division’s character, Professor Tinkermeister, will be on stage with weather experiments, trivia and games.  The professor will also be in the Division’s booth to teach families about disaster preparedness. The concert begins at 6:00 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010.

“We are very grateful for this partnership with Radio Disney,” said Division of Emergency Management Director, David Halstead. ”This event is an excellent opportunity for our staff to speak face-to-face with Floridians about the importance of severe weather preparedness.”

Florida students can win a visit by Professor Tinkermeister to their school by registering at the Division’s booth. Featured on www.KidsGetAPlan.com, the Professor is a spokesperson who provides family-friendly all weather hazards information. Kids can use the website to help their families be prepared for Florida’s range of severe weather events. The winning school will be notified by phone.

Florida Division Of Emergency Management To Be Featured Partner With Radio Disney For Holiday Concert In Celebration, FL Release

12/06/10 - Arctic Cold Front To Bring Below-Freezing Temperatures Across Florida Through Thursday

cold weather imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark tonight through Thursday morning. Temperatures could reach the lower 20s away from the coast across Northern Florida and near the freezing mark in pockets as far south as the Everglades. The National Weather Service has already issued Freeze Warnings for a large portion of Central and South Florida, with Hard Freeze Warnings in place for much of North Florida. Though Freeze Warnings are in effect for inland areas of South Florida, areas closer to the coast are under a Freeze Watch.

"Residents and visitors across the state should prepare for a long period of freezing temperatures each morning that could harm vegetation, pipes, animals and people," said Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. "These cold temperatures may prompt the opening of shelters across the state and we encourage all Floridians to protect themselves and practice cold weather safety."

Floridians should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety.  The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

Arctic Cold Front To Bring Below-Freezing Temperatures
Across Florida Through Thursday Release

12/06/10 - Weekly Report

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11/30/10 - 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends, Wildfire And Severe Weather Seasons Begin

Florida emergency management officials gathered today at the State Emergency Operations Center to mark the official end of the 2010 Hurricane Season and remind Floridians that emergency preparedness does not end with hurricane season.

“Florida was blessed this year with minimal impacts from a very active hurricane season,” said Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “However, potentially serious drought conditions are developing statewide and beginning to resemble the drought conditions of 1998 which led to the most severe wildfire season in Florida’s recent history.”

The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season was extremely active, tying 1995 for the third most named storms in a season. There were 19 named storms, including 12 hurricanes, five of which became a category three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Since 1944, only two seasons (1969 and 2005) have had 12 or more hurricanes in a single season. Though the Sunshine State was spared a major landfall, Tropical Storm Bonnie brought several inches of rain over portions of Southern Florida.

2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends,
Wildfire And Severe Weather Seasons Begin Release

10/05/10 - Florida Division of Emergency Management and The American Red Cross Announce 2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week, Poster and Video Contests

SERT-SWAW2011-Red Cross logos

The Florida Division of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross today announced that they will again team up to sponsor Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week from January 31 – February 4, 2011. The annual public awareness campaign includes a poster and video public service announcement contest.

"Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week is an important time to educate our residents and visitors about the natural hazards that may affect the Sunshine State,” said Director David Halstead of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  “We appreciate this strong partnership with the American Red Cross and their commitment to ensuring Floridians are prepared for any disaster that may occur.”

Visit the 2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week webpage for contest details and information.

2011 Severe Weather Awareness Week, Poster And Video Contests Release

12/02/10 - Weekly Report

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12/01/10 - State Officials Encourage Residents Across Northern Florida To Prepare For Freezing Temperatures Tonight And Thursday

cold weather imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are encouraging residents and visitors across northern portions of the state to prepare for freezing overnight temperatures through Thursday. The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning from Escambia County east to Nassau County and south to Citrus County through early Thursday morning. A Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely for at least two hours. Freeze Warnings are likely to be issued for the same areas Thursday night as well.

“Though no Hard Freeze Warnings have been issued, this is the first widespread freeze of the season,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Now is a good opportunity for residents to review cold weather safety tips and prepare for future freezes.”

Floridians should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety.  The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

State Officials Encourage Residents Across Northern Florida To Prepare For Freezing Temperatures Release

11/29/10 - Weekly Report

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11/30/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Northwest Florida Beaches Today

Rip Current ImageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use extreme caution as a high risk of rip currents is expected today. A moderate risk of rip currents is also expected for Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties. There is also a Small Craft Advisory for the entire northern Gulf coast west of the Suwannee River entrance. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Rip currents are one of the most dangerous hazards at the beach,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “With the high risk of rip currents in the area, residents and visitors to the beaches of Northwest Florida should check the rip current outlook before entering the water and follow any instructions from safety officials.” 

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For
Northwest Florida Beaches Today Release

11/09/10 - Florida Cabinet Approves 2010 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan

Governor Charlie Crist today announced the approval of the 2010 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan by the Florida Cabinet. Since 1999, state, federal and local agencies have created 1,113,058 shelter spaces, approximately 77 percent of the state's shelter demand.

"Though Florida has been blessed recently with quiet hurricane seasons, it is vital that our residents and visitors have a safe place to shelter should our state be threatened by a storm once again," said Governor Crist. "I applaud the ongoing commitment of Florida's Legislature, state and local agencies to ensuring our state has adequate shelter capacity."

Florida Cabinet Approves 2010 Statewide Emergency Shelter Plan Release

11/23/10 - Weekly Report

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11/23/10 - Thanksgiving Travelers Urged To Use Caution As Potentially Dense Fog Affects The State Through Saturday

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to use caution during the Thanksgiving holiday as patches of dense fog may affect North Florida roadways through Thursday morning and extend into Saturday across portions of Central and South Florida. 

“An increasingly humid air mass ahead of an approaching cold front, along with warmer than normal overnight temperatures and calm winds, will create conditions that are favorable for dense fog formation across much of the Florida Panhandle and portions of the Florida Peninsula each evening and early morning,” said Amy Godsey, State Meteorologist. “The dense fog is expected to lift by mid-morning.  Until then, motorists travelling in these areas should remain alert and prepared for sudden drops in visibility”. 

Thanksgiving Travelers Urged To Use Caution As Potentially Dense Fog Affects The State Release

11/22/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Southeast Florida Beaches Today

rip currents imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use extreme caution as a high risk of rip currents is expected today. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Though the weather will be warm and sunny in Southeast Florida today, breezy onshore winds will cause a high risk of rip currents along the state’s southern Atlantic coast,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Beachgoers should check the warning flag signs before entering the water and swim within sight of a lifeguard.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Southeast Florida Beaches Today Release

11/18/10 - Weekend Report

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11/15/10 - Florida Panhandle And Big Bend Residents Urged To Stay Alert As Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Tonight And Tomorrow

State and local emergency management officials are urging residents and visitors in the Florida Panhandle and Florida Big Bend areas to stay alert and exercise caution as a potentially severe storm system moves into the area today and tomorrow.

"The Storm Prediction Center has placed all of the Florida Panhandle and Western Big Bend in an area for an enhanced risk of severe storms on Monday night and early Tuesday morning," said Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management David Halstead. "This severe weather threat may spread east on Tuesday, and we encourage residents and visitors across the region to monitor this weather system and to be prepared to act if warnings are issued."

Florida Panhandle And Big Bend Residents Urged To Stay Alert As Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Tonight And Tomorrow Release

11/15/10 - Continued High Risk Of Large Waves And Rip Currents Expected For East Central And Southeast Florida Beaches Today

rip currents imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers and boaters along Florida’s East Coast to exercise caution today as lingering high waves associated with a storm system in the central Atlantic Ocean continue to cause hazardous marine conditions. A high risk of rip currents is forecast today for the Atlantic Coast between Volusia and Palm Beach counties, with a moderate risk for dangerous rip currents in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

“Lingering ocean swells from this large system may once again bring rough seas, minor beach erosion and strong rip currents to much of Florida’s East Coast today,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “These impacts will continue to make area beach conditions dangerous, and beachgoers and mariners should heed local officials’ warnings and avoid swimming where red flags are flying.”

Continued High Risk Of Large Waves And Rip Currents Expected For East Central And Southeast Florida Beaches Today Release

11/15/10 - Weekly Report

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11/12/10 - Weekend Report

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11/12/10 - Florida East Coast Residents Urged To Use Caution This Weekend As Storm System Brings Potential For Large Waves And Strong Rip Currents

rip currents imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along Florida’s East Coast to exercise caution as a complex storm system off the United States Eastern seaboard will bring a variety of marine hazards to the state this weekend.

“Breezy winds and ocean swells from this large system could bring rough seas, pounding surf, beach erosion and numerous strong rip currents to Florida’s East Coast today through Sunday,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “This system is likely to make beach and boating conditions very dangerous, and we strongly urge beachgoers and boaters to heed local officials’ warnings and to avoid swimming where red flags are flying.”

Florida East Coast Residents Urged To Use Caution This Weekend As Storm System Brings Potential For Large Waves And Strong Rip Currents Release

11/08/10 - Weekly Report

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09/15/10 - Governor Crist Announces "Back to the Beach" Tourism Advertising Campaign

~ Directs Department of Business and Professional Regulation
to assist restaurant and lodging association ~

www.ShareaLittleSunshine.org

Share a Little Sunshine LogoAs part of his ongoing focus on Florida’s economic recovery in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Governor Charlie Crist today announced $700,000 to speed the economic recovery for Florida’s hospitality industry affected by the oil spill. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation will return to the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association funds originally intended to support the hospitality industry for use in an enhanced advertising of upcoming coastal events.  The campaign will work to attract potential visitors who may have postponed, or previously cancelled, their travel to Florida.

“Florida’s tourism industry is vital to the Sunshine State’s economic security, and we must do all we can to help the businesses harmed by this summer’s oil spill,” Governor Crist said. “I applaud our dedicated and friendly hoteliers and restaurateurs for their work to create a great getaway experience for traveling Floridians, as well as out-of-state and international visitors.”

"Back to the Beach" Tourism Advertising Campaign Release

11/08/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Southeast Florida Beaches Today

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use extreme caution as a high risk of rip currents is expected today. There is also a moderate risk of rip currents for the remainder of the Atlantic Coast between Nassau and Martin counties and a Small Craft Advisory for all of Florida’s Atlantic coastal waters. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Northerly winds of 15 to 20 miles per hour combined with ocean swells of two to four feet will likely create a high risk of rip currents along Florida’s southern Atlantic coast today,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Southeast Florida Beaches Release

11/05/10 - Weekend Report

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11/01/10 - Weekly Report

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10/28/10 - Weekly Report

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10/25/10 - Weekly Report

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10/26/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Northwest Florida Beaches Today

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties to use extreme caution as a high risk of rip currents is expected today. There is also a Small Craft Advisory for Western Panhandle counties. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

"Rip currents are one of the most dangerous hazards at the beach," said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. "With the high risk of rip currents in the area, residents and visitors to the beaches of Northwest Florida should check the rip current outlook before entering the water and follow any instructions from safety officials."

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For NW Florida Beaches Release

10/21/10 - Weekly Report

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10/18/10 - Weekly Report

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10/15/10 - Weekly Report

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10/11/10 - Weekly Report

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10/04/10 - Weekly Report

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10/05/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week For Southeast Florida Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast from Palm Beach County south to Miami-Dade County to use caution today through Thursday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. There is also an elevated threat for rip currents this week along Northeast and East Central Florida beaches. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Strong north-northeast winds will develop along the Atlantic coast and persist through Thursday, which could cause rough surf and favorable conditions for strong and frequent rip currents,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Beachgoers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties should check the rip current outlook and remember the warning flag signs before entering the water this week.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected
For Southeast Florida Beaches Release

09/01/10 - Governor Crist Proclaims September as Florida Preparedness Month

FL Preparedness MonthGovernor Charlie Crist today proclaimed September 2010 as ‘Florida Preparedness Month.’ In recognition of the month, the Florida Division of Emergency Management will be partnering with more than 3,200 organizations across the U.S. to help create a culture of disaster preparedness.

“With the tropics becoming more active, and as we approach the historical peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, it is vital that all of Florida’s residents and visitors take the time now to prepare their families, homes and businesses for any disaster that may occur,” said Governor Crist. “This month is the perfect time to learn about how to prepare for the potential hazards in your area and to create your disaster plan to ensure you are ready to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

Governor Crist Proclaims September as Florida Preparedness Month Release

09/30/10 - Weekly Report

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09/29/10 - Flash Report

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09/29/10 - State Officials Urge South And East Central Florida Residents To Prepare Today For Anticipated Impacts From Tropical Storm Nicole

Tropical Storm Nicole MapFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors in South and East Central Florida to be extremely cautious when using area roadways and when near local canals, rivers, and other water bodies as rain bands from Tropical Storm Nicole affect the area both today and tomorrow. The State Emergency Operations Center will return to a Level 3 activation effective 1 p.m. today, but will continue to monitor and support counties that may be impacted.

“Though the system has now been named Tropical Storm Nicole, the official forecast track keeps the center of the storm east of Florida, with no anticipated landfall,” said David Halstead, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “South and East Central Florida residents should prepare for heavy rainfall and possible flooding from this system.”

Urging South And East Central Florida Residents To Prepare For Anticipated Impacts From Tropical Storm Nicole Release

09/27/10 - Flash Report

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09/28/10 - South Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Tropical Depression 16 Brings Heavy Rain And The Potential For Flooding

Tropical Depression 16

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors in the South Florida region to use extreme caution near local canals and rivers and on area roadways as Tropical Depression 16 is forecast to impact the area today and tomorrow. The system will likely bring the threat for heavy rainfall and flooding and the National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon to determine if a tropical storm has formed. The State Emergency Operations Center is activated to a Level 2 or partial activation to support counties that may be impacted.

“Though this system is unlikely to develop into a hurricane, it is important to remember that a storm doesn’t have to be a hurricane to cause loss of life and devastating property damage,” said David Halstead, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “It is vital that residents and visitors in South Florida remember the phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when approaching a flooded roadway and heed all warnings from the National Weather Service and local officials.”

Tropical Depression 16 Media Advisory for South Florida Release

09/24/10 - Flash Report

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09/24/10 - High Risk of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Weekend for Central and Southeast Florida Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast from Volusia County south to Miami-Dade County to use caution this weekend as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. There is also a moderate risk of rip currents for beaches from Nassau to Flagler counties. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Persistent onshore winds and large ocean swells will cause a high risk of dangerous rip currents along Central and Southeast Florida beaches this weekend,” Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying.”

Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week

09/24/10 - Florida Emergency Managers Encourage All Residents And Visitors To Monitor Tropical Developments This Weekend

Division of Emergency Management (DEM) officials are encouraging Florida residents and visitors to closely monitor the progress of the current tropical system in the Caribbean Sea and to update their family disaster plans and supply kits. No official forecasts place Florida in the path of any tropical systems at this time, but favorable conditions for rapid tropical development and strengthening do exist in the region. 

“Though none of the current tropical systems are a threat to Florida, they have the potential to organize and intensify quickly,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “Our team will closely monitor the active tropical situation in the Caribbean Sea and take any necessary preparatory steps to protect Floridians. I strongly encourage everyone to follow this storm closely through the weekend and to take this opportunity to review and update their family and business disaster plans and supply kits.” 

Florida Emergency Managers Encourage All Residents And Visitors To Monitor Tropical Developments This Weekend Release

09/23/10 - Flash Report

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09/20/10 - Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast from Nassau County south to Miami-Dade County to use caution as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. There is also a High Surf Advisory in effect in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties for large waves of five to nine feet. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers along the entire Florida East coast should be very cautious as strong onshore winds in combination with lingering ocean swells from distant Hurricane Igor may produce dangerous surf conditions for much of this week,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “Numerous rescues were reported over the weekend along Florida’s Atlantic coast and we strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week

09/20/10 - Update Report

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What Is El Niño? Learn What It Means For Florida

El Nino graphic El Niño is a global weather phenomenon that results from changes in the atmosphere and the tropical Pacific Ocean. During times of moderate to strong El Niño, higher water temperatures in the tropical Pacific region often produce a greater threat for severe weather, excessive rainfall and coastal storms in Florida during the fall, winter and spring months. The current El Niño pattern is predicted to peak during the winter months in 2009 -10. This increased severe weather threat highlights the importance of NOAA "All-Hazards" alert radios for families and businesses.

Get the latest El Niño advisory from the Climate Prediction Center .

09/16/10 - Update Report

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09/17/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Weekend For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the entire Atlantic coast from Nassau County south to Miami-Dade County to use extreme caution this weekend as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected Friday through Sunday due to ocean swells caused by distant Hurricane Igor. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous. Large waves offshore will also be dangerous for boaters.

“Area beach conditions will be rough and rip currents can be life-threatening to anyone entering the water along Florida’s East Coast this weekend,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Florida beach and boating experience. Beachgoers and surfers should check the rip current outlook and remember the warning flag signs before going into the water.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Weekend

09/14/10 - Update Report

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09/10/10 - September 10th Marks The Historical Peak Of Hurricane Season

~ Officials urge Floridians to be prepared and to GET A PLAN! ~

Today marks the annual historical peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season and Florida emergency management officials are urging residents and visitors to prepare for further anticipated tropical developments. While no system is currently threatening the state, above average conditions for storm development can lead to rapid tropical strengthening and movement in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. To date, the National Hurricane Center has identified nine named tropical systems, three of which reached hurricane status.

“Though our state is not presently threatened by any tropical system, now is a good time to remind everyone that the height of hurricane season is upon us,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “It is vital that all residents and visitors have a plan for what to do should a hurricane threaten their community. I encourage everyone to visit www.FloridaDisaster.org today to create or update your family and business disaster survival plan.”

September 10th Marks The Historical Peak Of Hurricane Season Release

09/07/10 - Update Report

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09/10/10 - Statement By Director David Halstead Remembering Emergency Responders Of The Terrorist Attacks On September 11, 2001

Remembering 9-11“Florida’s entire emergency management community will remember the brave men and women who responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As the events of that fateful day unfolded, our entire country watched as our heroic first-responder friends and colleagues charged into the disaster with one mission: to save lives. We will never forget the courage and sacrifice of the police officers, firefighters, emergency managers, emergency medical service and health care providers, our military, and all others who served their nation in its time of need. Their response to the call, their commitment to their duty, and their unwavering devotion to serve will continue to inspire us all for generations to come.”

Remembering Emergency Responders Of The Terrorist Attacks On 9-11, 2001

08/31/10 - Governor Crist Commends Approval Of Federal Funding For Structural Hardening Initiatives At Florida Domestic Violence Centers

Governor Charlie Crist today commended the approval of federal funding for structural hardening projects at domestic violence centers throughout Florida. The disaster mitigation initiatives will make domestic violence centers more resistant to severe weather and tropical systems through various building upgrades and enhance the safety of residents during weather-related emergencies.

“The structural strengthening of targeted domestic violence centers throughout Florida will be a hallmark achievement in Florida’s efforts to prepare for severe weather and hurricanes,” said Governor Charlie Crist. “These projects will help us make great strides in our collective effort to ensure that some of our most vulnerable fellow Floridians are protected during emergencies.”

Governor Commends Approval Of Federal Funding For Structural Hardening Initiatives At Florida Domestic Violence Centers Release

09/02/10 - Update Report

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09/03/10 - Elevated Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Continue For Florida East Coast Beaches This Labor Day Weekend

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the state’s Atlantic coast from Nassau County south to Miami-Dade County to use caution this Labor Day weekend as a moderate to high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected to continue due to lingering ocean swells caused by Hurricane Earl. When red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Even though ocean swells from Hurricane Earl will slowly subside over the next few days, residents and visitors need to continue to heed local beach signs and flags as they enjoy the beaches this holiday weekend,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Rip currents can be life-threatening to those who enter the surf unprepared, and all Floridians and visitors need to pay close attention to current beach conditions.” 

Elevated Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Continue For Florida East Coast Beaches This Labor Day Weekend Release

09/02/10 - Statement by Florida Division Of Emergency Management Director David Halstead Regarding The Oil Rig Fire Off The Coast Of Louisiana

“The State of Florida Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has been closely monitoring the reports regarding the oil rig fire on Vermilion Block 380 off the coast of Louisiana. The Coast Guard is reporting that the facility is a fixed platform and not a floating rig (like the Deepwater Horizon) and it is not believed that the platform does any drilling. The State Watch Office located in the SEOC operates 24 hours daily and will continue to monitor this situation. The SEOC is currently at a Level 3 with Operations and Plans staff monitoring the situation and providing updates as needed.” 

Statement by FDEM Director David Halstead
Regarding The Oil Rig Fire Off The Coast Of Louisiana Release

09/01/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches For The Remainder Of The Week

~High Surf Advisory issued for Northeast and East Central Florida beaches~

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the entire Atlantic coast from Nassau County south to Miami-Dade County to use extreme caution Wednesday through Friday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected due to ocean swells caused by Hurricane Earl. The National Weather Service has also issued a High Surf Advisory for beaches from Nassau County south through Martin County. A High Surf Advisory means that high waves may produce dangerous surf and minor beach erosion. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous, as large breaking waves of 3-8 feet could easily knock a person off their feet and make them especially susceptible to a rip current.

“Large ocean swells from Hurricane Earl are forecast peak today and persist through Friday, particularly along East Central and Northeast Florida beaches,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “These swells will create dangerous rip currents that could be life-threatening to those who enter the surf unprepared.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches For The Remainder Of The Week Release

08/30/10 - Update Report

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08/30/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the entire Atlantic coast from Nassau County south to Miami-Dade County to use extreme caution this week as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected through Friday due to ocean swells caused by distant tropical systems. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life-threatening to anyone entering the water along Florida’s East Coast this week,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “Beachgoers and surfers should check the rip current outlook and remember the warning flag signs before going into the water.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week
For All Of Florida's East Coast Beaches Release

08/27/10 - State Emergency Operations Center Transitions To Monitoring Status For The Deepwater Horizon Event

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) transitioned today to a Level 3 monitoring status for the Deepwater Horizon event. State emergency response officials will continue to respond to impacts as they are reported to the State Watch Office and ensure proper cleanup occurs as needed.

“Though the State EOC activation has come to an end, the State Emergency Response Team remains committed to protecting Florida’s coastline from this disaster,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Our state has a robust system in place for responding to reports of oil product on our shores and we will continue to be vigilant in ensuring reported impacts are cleaned up immediately.”

The State EOC initially activated on April 30 in response to this event. Today marks day 120 of activation, which is the second longest activation in EOC history, behind the 137 day activation for the 1998 wildfire season.

State EOC Transitions To Monitoring Status For The Deepwater Horizon Event

08/27/10 - Statement by Governor Crist Regarding Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill State of Emergency

“While we are grateful the Deepwater Horizon well stopped gushing oil more than a month ago, counties in Northwest Florida hardest hit by oil continue to see hotel and travel cancellations. These counties still need our assistance to strengthen their economies, and we must be wise and prudent to do so. I remain committed to helping affected individuals, businesses and local governments recoup any economic losses they experienced, whether due to oil in the Gulf of Mexico coming ashore or the public’s misperceptions about the extent of the oil’s impact.”

Please see the attached Executive Order 10-191, regarding an extension of Governor Charlie Crist's declaration of a State of Emergency due to ongoing economic impact from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The declaration is amended to reduce the number of counties covered in the Executive Order to the seven most affected counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin.

Executive Order Number 10-191

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08/28/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week For Florida East Coast Beaches

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties to use caution this week as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. There was also a moderate risk of rip currents for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties this past weekend. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers along the entire Florida East coast should be very cautious this week as ocean swells from distant tropical systems produce dangerous surf conditions for a prolonged period,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected This Week
For Florida East Coast Beaches Release

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08/17/10 - HIGH RISK OF DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS EXPECTED FOR NORTHWEST FLORIDA BEACHES

Rip CurrentFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Gulf coast in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties to use caution Tuesday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

"Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the Northwest Florida coast today," State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. "We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted."

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Northwest Florida Beaches

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08/11/10 - Tropical Depression Five Media Advisory

Tropical Depression Five Image“Residents across Northwest Florida are urged to follow the progress of Tropical Depression Five, heed local advisories, and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  “All Floridians should continue to follow the activity in the tropics and take this time to update their plans and check their disaster survival kits.”  

Tropical Depression Five Media Advisory For August 11, 2010, Wednesday

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08/02/10 - Florida Emergency Managers Urge Caution This Week As Dangerous Heat Indices Are Expected

Heat Indices imageFlorida emergency management officials strongly urge residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to continue to use caution this week as afternoon temperatures remain above normal in the 95-100 degree range with heat indices of 105 -115 degrees from Escambia County east to Leon County. 

“Temperatures will be dangerously high across portions of North Florida for the next few days,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “It is vital that our residents and visitors take extreme caution by remaining hydrated and avoiding extended hours in the afternoon sun when possible.”

The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for the Central Panhandle due to extremely dangerous heat indices which are expected to persist for several hours. Counties included in the Heat Advisory are: Walton, Bay, Washington, Holmes, Gulf, Calhoun, Jackson, Franklin and Leon counties. An Excessive Heat Warning is also in effect for the western tip of the Panhandle due to heat indices reaching 110 degrees and higher. Counties included in the Excessive Heat Warning are: Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties.

Caution This Week As Dangerous Heat Indices Are Expected Release

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07/30/10 - Florida Emergency Managers Urge Caution This Weekend As Dangerous Heat Indices Are Expected

Heat Indices imageFlorida emergency management officials strongly urge residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to use caution this weekend as afternoon temperatures could climb near or over 100 degrees. Weekend forecast temperatures are expected to remain in the 95-100 degree range with heat indices of 105 -115 degrees from Escambia County east to Duval County. 

“Temperatures will be dangerously high across all of North Florida this weekend,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “It is vital that our residents and visitors take extreme precaution and avoid extended hours in the afternoon sun when possible.”

The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories for all counties from the Florida Panhandle through the Northern Atlantic coast due to extremely dangerous heat indices which are expected to persist for several hours.  Counties included in the Heat Advisory are: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Leon, Wakulla, Madison, Taylor, Lafayette, Dixie, Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Baker, Nassau and Duval. These advisories may extend across a majority of North Florida through the weekend.

Caution This Weekend As Dangerous Heat Indices Are Expected Release

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07/23/10 - Tropical Depression Bonnie Advisory

Tropical Depression Bonnie"Though the impacts were relatively minimal, Tropical Depression Bonnie serves as a reminder that all Floridians need to have a plan in place for what could potentially be an active hurricane season,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Tropical Depression Bonnie Advisory Release

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07/22/10 - Tropical Depression #3

Tropical Depression #3 image“Residents across South Florida are urged to follow the progress of Tropical Depression Three, heed local advisories, and be prepared to implement their family disaster plans,” said David Halstead, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.  “All Floridians should continue to follow the activity in the tropics and take this time to update their plans and check their disaster survival kits.”  

Tropical Depression #3 Release

07/20/10 - Florida To Receive More Than $70 Million In Federal Homeland Security Grants

Florida is scheduled to receive more than $70 million in final Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The HSGP grants are designed to enhance the ability of states, territories, and urban areas to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from terrorist attacks and other disasters. 

For FY2010 Florida has been awarded a total of $74,063,161 in funding through the: Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) and Tribal Funding, Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), and Citizen Corps Program (CCP). Twenty-five percent of the State Homeland Security (SHSP) and Urban Area (UASI) funding must go to law enforcement terrorism prevention programs.

Florida To Receive More Than $70 Million In Federal
Homeland Security Grants Release

07/20/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Thursday For Southeast Florida Beaches

~ Moderate risk of rip currents also expected for other
Atlantic Coast beaches
~

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to use caution Tuesday through Thursday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. In addition, a moderate risk of rip currents is expected for the Atlantic coast between Martin County and Nassau County. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the Southeast Florida coast this week,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Thursday
For Southeast Florida Beaches

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Information on the H1N1 Swine Flu

Flu H1N1 Swine Flu button Visit the Department of Health's H1N1 Swine Flu information page for the latest updates.

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07/06/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through Thursday Along The Panhandle Coast

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to the beaches of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use caution today through Thursday as a moderate to high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the Northwest Florida coast this week,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey.  “Strong winds combined with increasing swells from the tropical system in the southern Gulf of Mexico will result in 4 to 6 foot seas near the coast and make beach conditions very dangerous along the Florida Panhandle and western Florida Big Bend coastline through at least Thursday. We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying."

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through Thursday Along The Panhandle Coast


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07/02/10 - Florida Emergency Management Officials Encourage Weather Safety This Independence Day Weekend

lightning imageFlorida's Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to be mindful of lightning and other weather hazards when celebrating this Fourth of July weekend.

"Lightning is a serious and deadly threat, especially in Florida where thunderstorms form quickly," said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "With a high volume of people gathering outdoors this weekend, Floridians should pay close attention to changing weather conditions and seek shelter when thunder is heard."

Florida Emergency Management Officials Encourage Weather Safety This Independence Day Weekend Release

07/02/10 - Florida Emergency Management Officials Remind Floridians To Use Caution When Celebrating The Fourth Of July This Weekend

fireworks imageFlorida’s Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to enjoy the Fourth of July weekend activities while remaining cautious of potential oil impacts on beaches in Northwest Florida.

“The Fourth of July is a time for Floridians to come together and celebrate America’s Independence, and we want to ensure everyone celebrates safely,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “This includes practicing proper fireworks safety and heeding local notices regarding the Deepwater Horizon incident.”

While it is unlikely that any weathered oil products are flammable, beachgoers are still reminded to use caution when enjoying firework displays this weekend. Should any oiled product be spotted, do not pick it up. Rather, report it to the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or by dialing #DEP from most cell phones. Report any oiled wildlife to 866-557-1401. For the safety of the public as well as the safety of animals, rescues should only be conducted by trained responders.

Florida Emergency Management Officials Remind Floridians To Use Caution When Celebrating The Fourth Of July This Weekend Release

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06/29/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Thursday Along The Panhandle Coast

rip currents imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to the beaches of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties to use caution today through Thursday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected.  When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Even though Tropical Storm Alex will remain southwest of the area, ocean swells generated by the storm will traverse the Gulf of Mexico,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said.  “Increasing winds along with increasing swells will result in high waves and make beach conditions very dangerous along the Florida Panhandle coast through at least Thursday.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Thursday Along
The Panhandle Coast Release

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06/23/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through Friday For Southeast Florida Beaches

~ Moderate risk of rip currents also expected for
other Atlantic Coast beaches ~

Rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to use caution Wednesday through Friday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. In addition, a moderate risk of rip currents is expected for the Atlantic coast between Martin County and Nassau County. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the Southeast Florida coast this week,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Southeast Florida Beaches

06/21/10 - Lightning Safety Awareness Week Is June 20-26

Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 20-26Florida’s Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors that June 20-26, 2010 is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Hurricanes and tornadoes are not the only kinds of hazardous weather in the Sunshine State; Florida is the lightning capital of North America with an average of 1.4 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per year.

“Lightning is a serious and deadly threat, especially in Florida where thunderstorms form quickly,” said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Floridians should pay close attention to changing weather conditions when outdoors and seek shelter when thunder is heard.”

Lightning Safety Awareness Week Is June 20-26 Release

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06/09/10 - This Week Is National Rip Current Awareness Week

Rip Currents ImageFlorida Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors that June 6-12, 2010 is National Rip Current Awareness Week. Beachgoers in the Sunshine State are urged to learn about this hazard and ways to stay safe from rip currents this summer.

"Rip currents are a dangerous phenomenon that can be found throughout the year along many of Florida's beaches," said David Halstead, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "Rip Current Awareness Week is a perfect opportunity for our residents and visitors to learn about how to identify and protect themselves from this hazard."

This Week is National Rip Currrent Awareness Week Release

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06/01/10 - Florida Emergency Management Releases 2010 Hurricane Preparedness Survey Results

The Florida Division of Emergency Management today released the results of a recent poll assessing hurricane preparedness among Florida’s residents.

The 2010 survey conducted by the Hazards Management Group, Inc. provides both an up-to-date measure of household preparedness in Florida and a comparison to preparedness indicators documented in 2006. The 2006 survey followed the unusually active hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, which might reasonably have led to a heightened level of preparedness in advance of the 2006 hurricane season.

2010 Hurricane Preparedness Survey Results Release
2010 Preparedness Survey Report

06/01/10 - Statement by Governor Charlie Crist Regarding the Start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season

“As we mark the beginning of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season today, Florida’s emergency managers and first responders are prepared to take action should a storm make its way to our shores. Just as they have taken time to plan and prepare, so should Florida families and businesses. 

“I urge every Floridian to put together a plan and a disaster kit with food, water and medications. Experts are forecasting an active season, and it is essential that the people of Florida take steps now to prepare, before a storm strikes. While we pray for a quiet hurricane season, there is always a very real possibility a storm will come our way, and preparation is the key to survival.”

Statement by Governor Crist Regarding the Start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season

06/01/10 - Officials Urge Floridians To Be Prepared And To Get A Plan! For The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season Begins June 1st & Get a Plan LogoThough the Deepwater Horizon incident is ongoing, Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to the Sunshine State to prepare and GET A PLAN! for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season. While much focus is being placed on the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico emergency management officials want residents to understand that should have no impact in their preparation or readiness to take action if a tropical system threatens Florida.

“Forecasters this year have predicted an above-average Atlantic Hurricane Season,” said David Halstead, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “While we respect those that forecast these numbers, it is important that we remind our residents and visitors that it only takes one storm to cause loss of lives and devastating property damage. As the 2010 Hurricane Season begins, we want everyone to have a plan for where they will go, what they will bring and what route they will travel, should evacuation orders be issued.”

This year, the Division of Emergency Management has partnered with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) in their Great Hurricane Blowout family preparedness campaign. The Blowout promotes a culture of hurricane-based preparedness in our state through fresh outreach methods.

Officials Urge Floridians To Be Prepared And To Get A Plan! For The 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season

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05/28/10 - Travel To Florida’s Beaches, Coastal Communities And World Famous Attractions This Memorial Day

~Florida is open for business this holiday weekend~

Florida BeachWith Memorial Day weekend and the summer travel season approaching, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and VISIT FLORIDA, are encouraging Floridians and travelers to experience the state’s world-famous beaches, attractions, coastal communities and state recreation areas. There have been no confirmed oil impacts to Florida’s shoreline from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the state remains one of the top travel destinations in the world.

“Florida’s beaches and attractions are as pristine as ever, so we invite you to come on down,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “And we know the best way for visitors to make informed travel planning decisions is to see it for themselves, so check out Florida Live at VISITFLORIDA.com to watch live webcams, read Twitter feeds and view up-to-the-minute photos posted by real people in real time sharing real Florida.”

Travel To Florida’s Beaches, Coastal Communities And World Famous Attractions This Memorial Day

05/28/10 - Governor Crist Announces Free Saltwater Fishing Weekends

sailfish imageGovernor Charlie Crist today announced two free fishing weekends to help draw visitors to the beautiful beaches of the Sunshine State. Both residents and nonresidents in Florida can fish for saltwater species around the state without a license during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, May 29 to May 31, and the weekend of June 5 and 6, which is the first weekend after the popular red snapper season opens in the Gulf on June 1, 2010. All other fishing rules apply.

“Florida is the fishing capital of the world,” said Governor Crist, “Our beaches are clear, the fish are biting, and we invite our friends to enjoy some Florida hospitality.”

Free Saltwater Fishing Weekends

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05/25/10 - Governor Crist Announces $25-Million Tourism Advertising Campaign Memorandum Of Understanding With BP

~ To help tourism industry in Panhandle first ~

Governor Charlie Crist today announced Florida has received $25 million from BP for VISIT FLORIDA and local tourist development councils to air a tourism marketing campaign with ads reflecting the accurate condition of Florida’s beaches. In addition, Governor Crist announced the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Florida and BP. Through a combination of live video-camera feeds, social marketing and television and online advertising, potential travelers will learn that Florida’s beaches and world-renowned fishing grounds are open for business and free from any affects from the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. The campaign will focus first on the Panhandle region, and then on all coastal counties experiencing economic impact from the Deepwater Horizon event.

“Florida continues to be a great value for families, business travelers and international visitors seeking an enjoyable vacation experience. In spite of negative images and reports people may be hearing about Florida’s beaches and fishing grounds, this campaign will tell the world how they can see live images of Florida beaches and businesses,” Governor Crist said. “We will use BP’s resources as quickly as possible to target every city and region that support tourism destinations in the Panhandle, as well as national and international markets.”

Governor Announces $25-Million Tourism Advertising Campaign Release

05/24/10 - Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 23rd-29th

Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week May 23rd-29thGovernor Charlie Crist has proclaimed May 23rd-29th, 2010 as Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week, by urging all Floridians to prepare for the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season that begins June 1. This year, state, local and federal officials will be engaged in numerous outreach and training activities at the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale throughout the week.

“This year the State Team and our local and federal partners will participate in extensive training and workshop activities throughout the week in preparation for the beginning of Hurricane Season,” said State Emergency Management Director David Halstead. “As we are preparing our team and actively engaging in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, now is the time for all who call the Sunshine State home to get a plan and get ready for Hurricane Season too.”

Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week Release
Proclamation

05/25/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through Thursday For North And Central East Coast Florida Beaches

Rip Current ImageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties to use caution today through Thursday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Residents and visitors along the First Coast south through the Treasure Coast should use extra caution when entering the water this week,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey.  “We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying.”

High Risk of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For North and Central East Coast Florida Beaches Release

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05/14/10 - Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through The Weekend For Southeastern Florida Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today through Sunday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Though the weekend will bring favorable beach weather, conditions will be very rough along the Southeast Florida coast,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying.”

Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through The Weekend For Southeastern Florida Beaches

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05/11/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today Through Thursday For Southeastern Florida Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today through Thursday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected.  When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Despite sunny skies and warm temperatures, beach conditions will be very rough along the Southeast Florida coast through Thursday,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said.  “We strongly urge beachgoers to heed local officials’ warnings and stay out of the water where red flags are flying.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Thursday For Southeastern Florida Beaches Release

05/12/10 - Flash Report

Flash Report

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05/11/10 - Flash Report

Flash Report

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05/09/10 - Flash Report

Flash Report

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05/06/10 - Flash Report

Flash Report

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05/05/10 - Flash Report

Flash Report

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05/03/10 - Flash Report

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05/02/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today and Monday for Florida Panhandle and Big Bend Beaches

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Gulf coast in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

Rough waves will make surf conditions especially dangerous and a High Surf Advisory is in effect for Walton, Bay and Gulf counties with a Coastal Flood Warning in effect for Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties for large wave action through Monday.

High Risk Of Rip Currents for Florida Panhandle Release

05/02/10 - Western Panhandle Residents Urged To Use Caution As Flash Flood Watches Are Issued For Today And Monday

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors in the Western Florida Panhandle to remain vigilant near local rivers and use caution on area roadways as a storm system impacts the area today and Monday. The Flash Flood Watch was issued for Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties through Monday afternoon.

“A strong cold front is approaching the Western Florida Panhandle and will bring showers and scattered thunderstorms today and tomorrow,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Periods of heavy rains are expected this evening through Monday afternoon with projected rainfall totals of two to four inches.”

Flash Flood Watches Issued for Western Panhandle Release

04/30/10 - Statement from David Halstead regarding his appointment as Director of the Division of Emergency Management by Governor Charlie Crist

“Today I was honored and humbled to be named the permanent Director of the Division of Emergency Management by Governor Crist.  I accept this position on behalf of each and every one of the hard working men and women here at the Division and all of our partners who supported me and our team during this interim period.  My appointment would not have been possible without the team here in Florida that I am honored to be a part of and now privileged to lead.  Our mission statement here at the Division starts out with the words “Working together” and the only way we will continue to be successful is if we honor that mission statement and continue to foster a culture of coordination, cooperation and collaboration with all of our partners.  Again, I want to thank Governor Crist and his team for the faith and trust they have placed in me on behalf of the great people of Florida.”

Emergency Management Director Appointment Release

05/03/10 - Flash Report

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04/23/10 - Weekly Report

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05/01/10 -Deepwater Horizon Response Day 2

dEEPWATER HORIZONThe State Emergency Response Team in support of the Department of Environmental Protection as the lead response agency for the state of Florida is actively monitoring the Deepwater Horizon response. Currently, there are no projected impacts to the state of Florida through Monday, so residents and visitors may continue with weekend activities as scheduled. However, it is possible that some areas along the coast may see indications of oil residue. Should any resident or visitor experience these impacts, please refer to the recommended actions listed below.

Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

  • The State Emergency Operations Center has activated to a Level 2 or Partial activation.
  • Governor Charlie Crist has declared a state of emergency for the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf.
  • The State Emergency Response Team has representatives at the Unified Command at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector Mobile, helping to coordinate the efforts to protect Florida’s shoreline.
  • The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), county governments, water management districts and several federal agencies are conducting pre-impact assessments, including sampling of water, fish, shellfish, and habitats along the Florida coastline and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Recommended environmental actions:

  • There are rapid response teams staged to deploy to shorelines affected by oil to evaluate and determine an appropriate clean-up effort to minimize the impact to the environment. To report any sightings of oil residue, please call BP’s oil report line at (866) 448-5816.
  • If any air quality changes are suspected, residents may report them at www.epa.gov/bpspill.
  • Residents and visitors concerned about Florida’s air quality may view an up-to-date map with pollutant concentrations at www.airnow.gov.
  • Individuals should not attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the following toll-free number: (866) 557-1401.

For more information, visit the Department of Environmental Protection Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Deepwater Horizon Response Day 2

04/30/10 - State Emergency Operations Center Activates To A Level 2 In Response To The Deepwater Horizon Incident

dEEPWATER HORIZONThe State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee activated to a Level 2 or partial activation Friday, April 30, at 3:30 p.m. in response to the Deepwater Horizon incident that occurred off the coast of Louisiana on April 20.

“At this point, the latest NOAA trajectories do not indicate oil reaching Florida’s shores over the weekend, so residents’ and visitors’ weekend activities can proceed as planned,” said David Halstead, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “However, the State Emergency Response Team will closely monitor the situation through the weekend and will coordinate with federal, state and local partners to ensure Florida’s waters, beaches and coastal resources are protected.”

Though no impacts to Florida are anticipated through the weekend, Governor Charlie Crist has declared a state of emergency (Executive Order 10-99) for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties.

For more information, visit the Department of Environmental Protection Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

EOC Activates to a Level 2 for Deepwater Horizon Incident Release
Executive Order 10-99

04/28/10 - Florida Division of Emergency Management Officials To Participate In 2010 NOAA Hurricane Hunter Tour

Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) officials will participate in the 2010 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter Gulf Coast Awareness Tour, a five-day tour through the Gulf Coast states. The Tour began on April 26 and visits the cities of Brownsville, Texas, Beaumont, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Pensacola, Florida and Sarasota, Florida. DEM officials will be on site at both Florida stops to help raise awareness about storm threats and the importance of preparedness.

"This Tour is an excellent opportunity to remind residents and visitors to the Sunshine State that the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right around the corner," said David Halstead, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "Now is a good time to review your family’s disaster plan and supply kit and restock or recycle any necessary items."

Hurricane specialists from the National Hurricane Center will travel with the Hurricane Hunters crew, and they will be joined by staff from emergency management offices, non-profit organizations, and local National Weather Service forecast offices. The National Weather Service in Mobile will host the Thursday Pensacola tour stop at the Gulf Coast Regional Airport. Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay-Ruskin will host the Sarasota tour stop at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport on Friday.

Hurricanes Hunter Tour Release

04/26/10 - Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected For The Northern Florida Panhandle And Eastern Big Bend Areas Today And Tomorrow

Are you firewise?In the wake of this past weekend’s strong cold front, a dry air mass will move into Northern Florida, placing portions of the Florida Panhandle and much of the northern Peninsula in a critical wildfire risk today and tomorrow. The counties most at risk include Jefferson, Madison, Taylor, Lafayette, Hamilton, Suwannee, Columbia, Baker, Bradford, Union, Nassau, Duval, Clay and St. Johns.

“The Storm Prediction Center has placed the far northern Florida peninsula and the far eastern Big Bend in a critical wildfire risk area both today and tomorrow,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “We ask that Floridians be very careful with the use of fire and flammable materials in and outside of the home. As dry conditions continue, we can all do our part to become Firewise and stay safe.”

Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected For The Northern Florida Panhandle And Eastern Big Bend Areas Release

04/26/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches From Walton County East To Franklin County

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Gulf Coast. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the Emerald Coast today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches Release

04/23/10 - Residents Urged To Stay Alert As Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Across Northern Florida This Weekend

State and local emergency management officials are urging residents and visitors to stay alert and exercise caution as a strong and complex storm system will move east into the northern half of the state this weekend.

“The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of northern Florida in an area for an enhanced risk of severe storms on Saturday and Sunday,” said Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management David Halstead. “We encourage residents and businesses to monitor this weather system this weekend and to be prepared to act if warnings are issued.”

Stay Alert As Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Across Northern Florida This Weekend Release

04/20/10 - Weekly Report

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04/13/10 - Wildfire Awareness Week

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04/19/10 - Florida Emergency Management Weekly Reports on YouTube

Residents and emergency officials can now receive weekly reports produced by the Florida Division of Emergency Management online via the worldwide web service YouTube, keywords: “Florida SERT” available at http://www.youtube.com/FloridaSERT.

Read Full Article About Florida Emergency Management Videos on YouTube

04/14/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties Today Through Friday

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are once again urging beachgoers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today through Friday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Persistent strong onshore winds will cause an increased risk for rip currents along Florida’s Southeast Atlantic coast today through Friday,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “Area beach conditions will be very rough and we strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Through Friday For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties Release

04/12/10 - This Week Is Wildfire Awareness Week

FirewiseFlorida Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors that April 11-17 is Wildfire Awareness Week. Floridians are urged to become Firewise and be prepared for the potential for wildfires this spring and early summer, regardless of the wetter than normal past winter season.

“Due to the recent El Niño phenomenon, Florida experienced wetter than normal winter months, which will help to diminish the threat of a severe wildfire season,” said David Halstead, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “However, Florida is a wildfire-prone state, with much of the native ecosystems dependent on natural wildfires. Therefore, residents should take the necessary precautions to protect lives and property as we near the height of wildfire season.”

This Week Is Wildfire Awareness Week Release

04/13/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Again Today For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are again urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life-threatening to anyone entering the water today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Again Today For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties Release

04/06/10 - Weekly Report

04/12/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties

rip currentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“We want all residents and visitors to enjoy Florida’s beautiful beaches safely,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “By heeding the advice of local officials and lifeguards, beachgoers can reduce their chances of injury or loss of life.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties Release

04/07/10 - Statement From David Halstead Interim Director Regarding The 2010 Hurricane Outlook Announced By Colorado State University's Hurricane Forecast Team on April 7, 2010

"With the start of the 2010 hurricane season just around the corner, the forecast of above-average seasonal activity today by Colorado State University's Hurricane Forecast Team should serve as a reminder to start preparing for hurricane season. All Floridians should ‘Get A Plan!’ and be prepared for any disaster. As Hurricane Andrew demonstrated in 1992 it only takes one hurricane to impact our great state and make it a bad season. Many forget that Andrew was the first named storm and only major hurricane of the otherwise inactive Atlantic hurricane season.

It is important that we treat all tropical systems with respect and prepare for the upcoming hurricane season with the focus on preparing to be a survivor – not a victim. I also urge you to check with a neighbor and make sure they have what they need to be prepared as well. Together, we can lessen the terrible impacts of these storms.

If you have a plan and a disaster supply kit, now is the time to review, recycle and restock for 2010. To ‘Get A Plan!’ for your family or business, go to www.floridadisaster.org today. The safety of your family depends on you taking responsibility to prepare to the best of your ability."

Statement from Interim Director Regarding 2010 Hurricane Outlook Release

04/08/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Florida Panhandle And Western Big Bend Regions

rip currentFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Gulf coast in Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Rip currents can be life-threatening to anyone entering the water,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “Beachgoers and surfers along Panhandle and Western Big Bend beaches should check the rip current outlook today and remember the warning flag signs before going into the water.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected For Florida Panhandle And Western Big Bend Regions Release

03/23/10 - Weekly Report

03/23/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches From Pasco County South Through Lee County

Rip Current ImageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Pasco County south through Lee County to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Gulf Coast. There is also a High Surf Advisory for all counties through 4 p.m. this afternoon, with rough waves expected to reach 4 to 6 feet. A High Surf Advisory is issued when dangerous water action is expected along the coast, including rough surf, large breaking waves, rip currents and strong undertow. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee County beaches today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents For Gulf Beaches Release

03/15/10 - MEMORANDUM - Letter from Interim Emergency Management Director David Halstead to FEMA Regional Administrator Phillip May Regarding Chinese Drywall

Please find the attached letter sent today from Interim Emergency Management Director David Halstead, at the direction of Governor Charlie Crist, to FEMA Regional Administrator Phillip May regarding federal assistance for Floridians affected by defective drywall.  The letter is the latest action in the comprehensive effort to help Floridians whose homes and health have been compromised due to Chinese drywall. As part of this ongoing effort, Governor Crist has commissioned an interagency work group, in collaboration with the federal government, to provide research and assistance.

For more information about Florida’s actions, please visit:
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/community/indoor-air/drywall.htmL. If you have any questions or need additional information, please call Governor Crist’s press office at (850) 488-5394.

Letter Regarding Chinese Drywall Release

03/15/10 - National Flood Safety Awareness Week

03/15/10 - This Week Is National Flood Safety Awareness Week

Turn Around Don't Drown imageFlorida Emergency Management officials are reminding residents and visitors that this week is National Flood Safety Awareness Week. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) partners with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) to raise awareness during the Week of some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods and what you can do to save life and property.

“Recent severe weather events causing extensive river flooding and areal flooding across the state serve to highlight the fact that the Sunshine State is prone to flooding at any time of the year, in any part of the state,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director David Halstead. “Floridians are urged to take advantage of the Week and update their disaster preparedness plans.”

This Week Is National Flood Safety Awareness Week Release
Interactive Flood History Map
Floodsmart Videos

03/18/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie And Martin Counties

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers along the Atlantic coast in Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic Ocean can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along the East Central Florida coast today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today
For Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie And Martin Counties Release

03/10/10 - Prescribed Fire Awareness Week 2010

03/12/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Saturday For Walton, Gulf And Bay Counties

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Walton, Gulf and Bay counties to use caution and heed local advisories Saturday as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along Panhandle beaches. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along Walton, Gulf and Bay County coasts this weekend,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Saturday For
Walton, Gulf And Bay Counties Release

03/12/10 - South Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Flood Watches Are In Effect Through This Evening

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors in the South Florida region to remain vigilant near local canals and rivers and to use extreme caution on area roadways as a storm system impacts the area today, bringing the threat for heavy rainfall. A Flood Watch is in effect until 7 p.m. this evening for Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, mainland Monroe, Collier, Glades and Hendry counties.

“This system will bring another round of widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms today to the southern Florida Peninsula,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Periods of heavy rains are expected through Friday evening with projected rainfall totals of two to four inches across a widespread area over the next 12 hours. This amount of water, in addition to heavy rainfall that fell on Thursday, will exacerbate flooding conditions.” In addition, isolated occurrences of severe weather will be possible with any strong thunderstorms that develop.

South Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Flood Watches Are In Effect Through This Evening Release

03/11/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Atlantic Beaches In Palm Beach, Broward And Miami-Dade Counties And Today And Tomorrow For Franklin, Gulf, Bay And Walton Counties.

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Atlantic coast. There is also a high risk of rip currents for today and tomorrow for Franklin, Gulf, Bay and Walton counties along the Gulf coast.

“We want residents and visitors to enjoy our beaches,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said.  “Beachgoers and surfers should check the rip current outlook, swim on guarded beaches and remember the warning flag signs today before going into the water.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today
For Atlantic Beaches Release

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today And Tomorrow
For Franklin, Gulf, Bay And Walton Counties Release

03/10/10 - Panhandle Residents Urged To Use Caution As Flash Flood Watches Are Issued For Today And Thursday

Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors in the Panhandle region to remain vigilant near local rivers and use caution on area roadways as a storm system impacts the area today and Thursday. The Flash Flood Watch was issued for Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties through Thursday morning. A Flood Watch is also in effect for Bay, Calhoun, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties through Thursday morning.

“This system will bring widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms beginning this evening in the Florida Panhandle,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Periods of heavy rains are expected this evening through Thursday morning with projected rainfall totals of one to three inches across a widespread area and as much as three to five inches in a few areas of Northwest Florida over the next 24 hours.” In addition, isolated occurrences of severe weather will be possible with any strong thunderstorms that develop.

Panhandle Residents Urged To Use Caution As
Flash Flood Watches Are Issued Release

03/10/10 - High Risk Of Rip Currents Expected Today For Walton, Bay, Gulf And Franklin Counties

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Walton County to Franklin County to use caution and heed local advisories today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along Panhandle and Western Big Bend beaches. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Rip Currents Expected Today
For Walton, Bay, Gulf And Franklin Counties Release

03/04/10 - Weekly Report for the First Week of March 2010

03/09/10 - Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Volusia County Beaches South Through Martin County

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers again from Volusia County south through Martin County to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Atlantic Coast. If red flags are flying, beachgoers need to be aware that swimming can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties again today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water.”

Continued High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today
For East Coast Beaches Release

03/08/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For East Coast Beaches From Volusia County South Through Martin County

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Volusia County south through Martin County to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Atlantic Coast. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming can be dangerous.

“Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today
For East Coast Beaches Release

03/04/10 - Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected In Central Florida Today

firewise buttonFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging residents and visitors to Central Florida to practice fire safety today as dangerous fire weather conditions are expected. A cold and dry air mass funneling into the Sunshine State behind the cold front which affected the state last Tuesday will increase the wildfire threat statewide Thursday and Friday. Gusty winds combined with this dry air mass have prompted Red Flag Warnings for exceptionally dangerous fire weather conditions. In addition, drier soil conditions across Central Florida will make these areas especially prone to the development and rapid spread of wildfires today.

“We ask that Central Floridians practice caution when using flammable materials in and outside of the home,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director David Halstead. “As dry conditions continue, we can all do our part to become Firewise and stay safe.”

Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected In Central Florida Release

02/26/10 - Weekly Report

03/03/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches From Levy County South To Collier County

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Levy County south through Collier County to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Gulf Coast. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along West-Central and Southwest Florida beaches today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches Release

02/25/10 - State Officials Urge Floridians To Prepare For Freezing Temperatures Tonight

cold weather imageState officials are urging residents and visitors to prepare for a potential widespread freeze event across all of North Florida and interior portions of Central and South Florida late Thursday night into Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued Hard Freeze Watches and Warnings for Northwest Florida and the Suwannee Valley, with Freeze Warnings extending along portions of the Peninsula from Jacksonville to the Everglades.

Durations of sub-freezing temperatures are expected to range from 2-4 hours across interior Central Florida and interior South Florida, with 4-10 hours of sub-freezing temperatures possible across all of North Florida, including the Florida Panhandle.

“The duration and intensity of these cold temperatures tonight will pose a danger to pipes, pets, agriculture and persons without adequate shelter or heating,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors should prepare for a cold night and practice good judgment and fire safety when using heating devices tonight and early Friday morning.”

State Officials Urge Floridians To Prepare For Freezing Temperatures Release

2/25/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches From Levy County South Through Lee County

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Levy County south through Lee County to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the Gulf Coast. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Area beach conditions will be very rough and rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “We strongly urge beachgoers to check the rip current outlook and stay out of the water when red flags are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today For Gulf Beaches Release

02/25/10 - Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected Statewide Today And Friday

The winter system affecting the eastern United States has funneled a cold and dry air mass into the Sunshine State that will increase the wildfire threat statewide Thursday and Friday. Gusty winds combined with this dry air mass have prompted Red Flag Warnings for exceptionally dangerous fire weather conditions statewide. State officials are urging fire safety by all Floridians.

“We ask that Floridians be very careful with the use of fire and flammable materials in and outside of the home,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Interim Director David Halstead. “As dry conditions continue, we can all do our part to become Firewise and stay safe.”

Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Expected Statewide Release

02/25/10 - Flash Report

02/22/1-0 - Operation Haiti Relief

02/16/10 - State Emergency Response Team Members Participate In Week-Long Joint Reconnaissance Training

Members of the State Emergency Response Team will participate in a week-long training event focused on enhancing reconnaissance activities during disasters. The training, which will be held at the Florida Fire College in Ocala, will include exercises in rapid impact assessment, interoperable communications and a full day of field exercise.

“The Reconnaissance Unit is truly the eyes and ears of the State Emergency Response Team,” said David Halstead, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “This important training will help further the Unit’s abilities to provide actionable intelligence during disasters.”

Week-Long Joint Reconnaissance Training Release

02/05/10 - U.S. Small Business Administration Approves Disaster Loan Programs For Bradford County

Florida emergency management officials today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved disaster loan funds for Bradford County residents and businesses in response to a tornado, severe storms and flooding that occurred on January 21.

On January 29, Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, requesting a disaster declaration. The declaration covers Bradford County and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Clay, Putnam and Union.

Small Business Administration customer service representatives will be on hand at the following location at the times listed below:

Bradford County
Bradford County Safety Complex (Directly behind the Bradford County Courthouse)
945 B North Temple Avenue
Starke, Florida 32091
Opens: Tuesday, Feb. 9
Open: Tuesday, Feb. 9 – Thursday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed: Saturday, Feb. 13 - Monday, Feb. 15
Closing: Thursday, Feb. 18 at the close of business

SBA Approves Disaster Loans Programs For Bradford County Release

02/15/10 - 2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week

02/15/10 - 2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week Announced

Governor Charlie Crist has signed a proclamation recognizing February 14-20, 2010 as “Hazardous Materials Awareness Week” in Florida. Joining Governor Crist in commemorating the week is the Florida Division of Emergency Management, in partnership with the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) for Hazardous Materials and the Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs). This year’s theme is: Hazardous Materials Awareness and Safety in Florida’s Schools.

“We are grateful for the Governor’s proclamation of this important week,” said David Halstead, Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Outreach events this year will focus on educating Florida’s students on the proper way to manage common hazardous materials found in science classrooms.”

2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week Announcement Release
2010 Hazardous Materials Awareness Week Proclamation

02/03/10 - Broward County Residents Reminded That Deadline To Apply For SBA Physical Damage Disaster Loans Is March 1, 2010

Florida emergency management officials are reminding residents affected by the December flooding in Broward County that the deadline to file an application for Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans is March 1, 2010. Those residents that sustained physical damage during the flooding event in the contiguous counties of Collier, Hendry, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach are also eligible to apply for disaster assistance.

To obtain a loan application or program information, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing-impaired) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. EST or send an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Business loan applications can also be downloaded from the SBA Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Broward County SBA Application Reminder Release

02/09/10 - Weekly Report

02/09/10 - High Risk Of Rip Currents Expected Today From Walton To Franklin Counties

Rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers from Walton County to Franklin County to use caution and heed local advisories today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along Panhandle and Western Big Bend beaches. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin County beaches today,” Deputy State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Rip Currents Expected From Walton To Franklin Counties Release

02/01/10 - Statement by Governor Charlie Crist (02/01/2010)

Regarding Activation of the National Disaster Medical System

“Florida is grateful to our federal partners for taking steps to activate the National Disaster Medical System. The quick response to my letter last week to Secretary Sebelius will ensure that critically injured survivors of the Haiti earthquake will continue to receive the medical care they so desperately need.

“As Floridians, we continue our commitment to welcoming more than 19,000 people from Haiti, including another flight of critically injured people arriving this afternoon. To date, 526 individuals have received critical medical services in Florida, and we continue working alongside our federal partners to address their needs. Florida’s hospitals, doctors, nurses and medical teams are at the forefront of caring for survivors, both here in Florida and in Haiti. For their tireless efforts, I commend their dedication to promptly and compassionately serving those in need.”

02/01/10 - USDA Declares 60 Florida Counties As Primary Natural Disaster Areas Due To Cold Weather Losses

Governor Charlie Crist and Florida emergency management officials today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that there were sufficient crop losses caused by cold weather and freezing conditions January 2 through January 14, 2010 to warrant a Secretarial Disaster Declaration in 60 Florida counties.

On January 15 Governor Crist sent a letter to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack requesting a disaster designation for all 67 counties in Florida after the state experienced unusually cold weather.

“We are grateful to Secretary Vilsack and our federal partners at the USDA for granting this needed disaster assistance to Floridians,” said Governor Crist. “The USDA designation will assist our agricultural industry in obtaining economic relief for losses sustained during the exceptionally long freezing temperatures last month.”

60 Counties Declared as Primary Natural Disaster Areas Due to Cold Weather Losses Release

02/03/10 - Weekly Report

02/04/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 23

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. Today is day 23 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 23 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

02/05/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today In Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Nassau, Duval, St. Johns And Flagler Counties

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers in Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Nassau, Duval, St. Johns and Flagler counties to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents and high surf is expected along North Florida beaches. In addition to rip currents, large battering waves could impact the shoreline and a high surf advisory is in effect along the Panhandle coast from Franklin County westward through 7pm this evening. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Gulf of Mexico can be dangerous.

Rip Currents Expected Along North Florida Beaches Release

02/04/10 - Panhandle, North Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Flash Flood Watches Are Issued For Today And Friday

Florida emergency management officials are urging residents and visitors in the Panhandle and North Florida regions to remain vigilant near local rivers and use caution on area roadways as a storm system impacts the northern third of the state today and Friday evening.

This system will also bring widespread showers and isolated thunderstorms beginning this evening in the Florida Panhandle. Periods of heavy rains are expected with projected rainfall totals of one-to-three-inches and in a few counties up to four inches through Friday.

Flash Flood Watches Issued for North Florida Panhandle Release

01/29/10 - Emergency Managers Announce Governor Crist's 2010-11 Budget Priorities Support Preparedness

Florida Emergency Management Interim Director David Halstead today announced his support for Governor Charlie Crist’s Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget recommendations for the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM), recommending funds for programs that ensure all Floridians, and the communities in which they live and work, are prepared in advance of times of disaster.

"Governor Crist is committed to maintaining a 'culture of preparedness' across our great state," said DEM Interim Director David Halstead. "The Governor's approach maintains Florida's ability to prepare for and respond to disasters and their impacts on behalf of all residents and visitors during tough economic times.

By encouraging personal responsibility and community preparedness, Governor Charlie Crist's budget recommendations provide $247.0 million to fund all open disasters, $19.9 million for Pre-disaster, flood and Residential Construction Mitigation grants and $9.5 million for county emergency management operations.

Read Full Budget Release

01/20/10 - The 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Guide Is Available In PDF

2010 Severe Weather Awareness GuideThe Florida Division of Emergency Management is proud to announce the distribution of the 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Guide. The Division sincerely appreciates the help and contributions of the National Weather Service and Florida Climate Center to this important guide for Floridians. This guide is intended to give Floridians and our guests to the state an overview of the different severe weather threats Florida faces throughout each year.

2010 Severe Weather Awareness Guide

02/03/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 22

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. Today is day 22 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 22 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

02/02/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 21

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. Today is day 21 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 21 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/29/10 - Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

02/01/10 - High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Expected Today In Nassau, Duval, St. Johns And Flagler Counties

rip current imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management officials are urging beachgoers to use caution today as a high risk of dangerous rip currents is expected along the state’s First Coast beaches today. When red flags are flying beachgoers need to be aware that swimming in the Atlantic can be dangerous. Swimming is not encouraged in these dangerous conditions.

“Beachgoers and surfers should be very cautious along area beaches today,” State Meteorologist Amy Godsey said. “It is important to follow the advice of local officials and avoid entering the water where red flag warnings are posted.”

High Risk Of Dangerous Rip Currents Northeast Counties Release

02/01/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 20

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti last month. Today is day 20 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 20 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/30/10 - Statement by Governor Charlie Crist (01/30/2010)

Regarding the New York Times story Cost Dispute Halts Airlift of Injured Haiti Quake Victims

Last night, between 60 and 80 Haitian orphans arrived at Miami International Airport.  Let me be clear - at no time has Florida closed our doors to those impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. To the contrary, Florida has been at the forefront of the crisis in Haiti - caring for the injured, reuniting families, comforting those who have been devastated by loss. I am proud of the continued contribution that we are making to open our hearts and lend our hands to those in need. This state remains committed to this effort, knowing that many Floridians are working 20 hour shifts to meet the enormous challenge.

We are grateful for the offer of help from other states as our hospitals become filled with those in need. We will need to shoulder this responsibility together in order to ensure that every crucial need is met.

01/31/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 19

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this month. Today is day 19 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 19 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/30/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 18

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts from the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this month. Today is day 18 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 18 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/29/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 17

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 17 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 17 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/28/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 16

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 16 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 16 Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/25/10 - Florida’s Two Urban Search And Rescue Teams Deployed To Haiti Return To South Florida

Members of two Florida urban search and rescue teams were welcomed home by loved ones and friends after they landed at Miami International Airport Monday afternoon.

The two 72-member teams and four other U.S. urban search and rescue teams that were deployed to help with the biggest natural disaster in Haiti’s history, pulled 43 survivors from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince including a Pembroke Pines woman, who spent five days trapped in debris.

“We are proud to welcome the South Florida Task Force Team 1 and South Florida Task Force Team 2 back to Florida,” said Interim Director David Halstead. “These teams serve as a great example of resiliency in the wake of disaster. Their no quit attitudes and desire to save others while putting their lives on the line are attributes that should make all Floridians proud.”

Two Urban Search And Rescue Teams Return To South Florida Release
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

0123/10 - 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster And Video Contest Winners Announced

2010 SWAW Contest Winners
The 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster and
Public Service Announcement contest winners celebrate with
Professor Nimbus Tinkermeister at the kickoff street party at
Downtown Disney on January 23, 2010.

Florida emergency management officials today joined Radio Disney and partners to announce the winners of the annual Severe Weather Awareness Week poster and video PSA contests during ceremonies at Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista.

“This is an excellent way to celebrate the fine work of our future leaders,” said David Halstead, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “This week is dedicated to helping all Floridians understand and prepare for natural hazards they may face in the Sunshine State.”

More than 400 students statewide participated in the poster and video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contests, through a partnership with the American Red Cross and Radio Disney. The top finalists’ artwork will be displayed in the halls of the State Emergency Operations Center during the first two weeks of February.

2010 SWAW Posters and Video Contest Winners Announced Release

01/22/10 - 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week Is January 24-30

2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week logo

~ Public is invited to the grand kickoff event
at Downtown Disney this Saturday! ~

Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed January 24-30, 2010 as Severe Weather Awareness Week, in Florida.  This year the annual public awareness campaign included a poster and video PSA contest sponsored by five Florida area Radio Disney stations in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week Release
Florida's Severe Weather Awareness Week Release
Severe Weather Awareness Week Proclamation

01/18/10 - State Health And Disaster Officials Provide Important Tips To Help Floridians Cope With Stress After The Haiti Earthquake

~Useful information from the Department of Health and the American Red Cross~ 

As Floridians watch the events unfold in Haiti, officials from the Florida Department of Health and American Red Cross want to remind residents that reactions to a traumatic event are quite common among all people.  Some reactions will be mild while others may be so strong that they might cause difficulty in functioning.

Coping with Stress After the Haiti Earthquake Release
Taking Care of Your Emotional After a Disaster
Pran swen sante mantal ou apre yon dezas
Previous Operation Haiti Relief Information

01/17/10 - Florida Teams Help More Than 1,500 Survivors Returning To The U.S. Following The Haiti Earthquake

As of 9 a.m. Sunday, January 17, teams from Florida’s state agencies and volunteer organizations have aided in the return, or repatriation, of 1,518 U.S. citizens arriving from Haiti at airports throughout Florida.

“Our State team continues to work closely with federal officials to make sure that the needs of returning earthquake survivors are met,” said Interim Director David Halstead.  “I am very proud of Florida’s responders who have, once again, answered the call when there are people in need.”

Florida Teams Help More Than 1,500 Survivors Returning To U.S. Release

01/14/10 - Florida Disaster Medical Team On Site In Haiti

The FloridaOne Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) from Pensacola has deployed to Haiti to help earthquake survivors. The FloridaOne DMAT is comprised of people with expertise in the fields of medicine, mental health, communications, administration and logistics.

“We understand the critical need for trained, disaster-medical personnel and hospital resources in Haiti and the state of Florida will continue to assist both field and stateside services during this recovery process,” said Interim Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management David Halstead.

Florida Disaster Medical Team In Haiti Release

01/14/10 - Florida Emergency Information Line To Open Friday At 10 A.M.

~Floridians can link to informational resources
on recovery efforts in Haiti~ 

The Florida State Emergency Information Line will open at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, January 15 to provide Floridians a link to informational resources on the international response and recovery efforts in Haiti.  The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice.  The number for residents to call is:

800-342-3557

01/14/10 - Florida State Emergency Management Team Responds To Haiti Earthquake

In response to Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti, the Florida State Emergency Management Team has deployed personnel from around the state to assist in recovery efforts. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is currently operating at a Level 2 or partial activation.

“We are continuing in our planning and coordination efforts with the federal government to be able to provide any needed assistance and resources to our neighbors in Haiti at this time,” said Governor Charlie Crist. “We know from experience that disasters have no borders and our state team is ready, willing and able to answer the call.”

FL State Emergency Management Team Responds to Haiti Earthquake Release

01/14/10 - Governor Crist Asks Floridians to Donate Wisely to Aid Survivors of Disasters

neighbors to the Rescue Haiti Fund imageGovernor Charlie Crist on Thursday, January 14, joined officials from the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Volunteer Florida) in urging Floridians to donate to survivors of disasters, including those in Haiti.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by the devastating Haiti earthquake,” said Governor Crist. “Now is a critical time for the people of Haiti, when monetary contributions are most needed. If you are in a position to contribute, I encourage you to work with an organization you trust.”

An effective way for Floridians to assist with relief efforts is to make a cash contribution to a humanitarian organization they are familiar with and trust. Information on identifying humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations and accepting cash donations for their efforts in Haiti is available by calling the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at (703) 276-1914, or by visiting www.cidi.org.

The Governor also announced the activation of the “Neighbors to the Rescue” through the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund. The fund is Florida based and particularly aids in regional long term disaster recovery efforts. Donations can be made at www.FLADisasterRecoveryFund.org or by calling 1-800-825-3786.

Governor Asks Floridians To Donate Wisely Release

01/13/10 - State EOC Activates In Response To The Haiti Earthquake

Haiti Earthquake 2010The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee activated at 9:00 a.m., January 13, Wednesday, to a Level 2 or Partial Activation in response to the 7.0 earthquake that occurred in Haiti Tuesday afternoon.

State emergency management officials are working with state, federal and international disaster officials to assist with response and recovery efforts for the island nation as needed.  Operations, logistics, plans and human services teams are prepared to assist with any mission requests.  

 Governor Charlie Crist has been briefed by Interim Director David Halstead and state officials are currently cataloging resources that can be made available to the island nation.

Statement by
GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST
Regarding the Earthquake in Haiti

“As one of Haiti’s closest neighbors, Florida stands ready to offer assistance to those affected by today’s devastating earthquake. The Division of Emergency Management has notified the United States Department of State that we are ready to assist in every way possible. I have discussed with State Representatives Yolly Roberson, Ronald Brise and Mack Bernard ways we can support Florida families with loved ones in Haiti. Our hearts and prayers go out to them all.”

EOC Activation for Haiti Earthquake Release

01/28/10 - Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

01/24/10 - Florida Hosts The Largest Assembly Of Communications Gear In The Southeast As Operation Radar Exercise Begins Today

~Over 400 participants and 140 pieces of high-tech communications gear in action~ 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and Florida National Guard (FLNG) will host “Operation Radar,” the largest assembly and evaluation of communications systems in the Southeast at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Camp Blanding, Florida on January 25-29, 2010.

“Our goal during the week is to bring together the various technical teams from around the state and region to train and coordinate unified operations under real-world conditions,” said Interim Director David Halstead.  “The ongoing events in Haiti serve to illustrate how important it is for responders from different agencies to be able to communicate with each other in a disaster.”

Operation Radar Exercise Release

01/27/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 15

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 15 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 15 Release

01/27/10 - Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

01/26/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 14

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 14 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 14 Release

01/26/10 - Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

01/25/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 13

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 13 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Recovery Day 13 Release

01/25/10 - Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

01/24/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Day 12

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 12 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Operation Haiti Relief - Day 12 Release

01/22/10 - Severe Weather Awareness Week, January 24-30

01/23/10 - Operation Haiti Relief - Day 11

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 11 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Florida's Response Team Making A Dfference In Haiti and Florida Release

01/21/10 - Florida’s Emergency Response Team Members Making A Difference In Haiti And Florida

Operation Haiti Relief LogoFlorida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. 

“I want to congratulate our state – based teams for the incredible work they are doing under extreme conditions in Haiti,” said Interim Director David Halstead.  “Their success clearly demonstrates the importance of having highly trained and well-equipped teams, and reminds us why we work so hard to be ready to answer the call where there are lives on the line.”

Florida's Response Team Making A Dfference In Haiti and Florida Release

01/15/10 - DEM Announces New Response Chief And State Meteorologist

~DeLorenzo returns to former post, Godsey promoted to State Meteorologist~ 

Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) Interim Director David Halstead today announced that Michael DeLorenzo has been named Bureau Chief of Response and State Emergency Response Team Chief (SERT Chief) and Amy Godsey as State Meteorologist.

“Mike brings an extensive background in public service and emergency management to the State team and we are honored to have him return to our ranks as Response Chief,” said Halstead. “Amy has been a dedicated member of our Meteorological Unit and a proven communicator while serving as Deputy Meteorologist. I am proud to promote Amy to the top position of State Meteorologist.”

New Response Chief and State Meteorologist Release

12/16/09 - Florida Emergency Management Encourages Kids To Participate In 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week, Poster And Video Contests

SWAW Logo

State emergency management officials today reminded all Floridians that Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week is scheduled for January 24 - 30, 2010. This year, the annual public awareness campaign includes a poster and video public service announcement (PSA) contest which was announced in late November. The deadlines to submit entries for these contests have been extended into the second week of January 2010.

"The goal of the week is to educate our residents and visitors about the natural hazards they may face and provide important information to help keep them safe," said Interim Deputy Director David Halstead of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "It is a team effort and we are proud to have many great sponsors who are committed to this week of outreach and awareness."

Visit the 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week webpage for more contest details and information.

2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster and Video Contests Release
Information on How To Enter

01/21/10 - Flash Report

01/16/10 - Flash Report

01/15/10 - Flash Report

01/15/10 - Executive Order Number 10-06 - Emergency Management - Haiti Earthquake

Governor Charlie Crist signed Executive Order 10-06 on January 15, regarding the State of Florida may be tasked by Federal authorities to utilize resources maintained by the State to support the international response to the Haiti Earthquake disaster.

Executive Order Number 10-06

01/11/10 - Weekly Report

01/05/10 - Governor Crist Issues Executive Order Number 10-01

Governor Charlie Crist signed Executive Order 10-01 on January 5, regarding the declaration of a State of Emergency due to freezing temperatures across Florida. This declaration will ensure that timely precautions are taken to protect Florida’s agricultural crops and citrus.

Executive Order Number 10-01

01/03/10 - Arctic Cold Front Brings Below-Freezing Temperatures To Florida This Week

cold weather imageState officials are urging residents, visitors and agricultural interests throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark throughout this entire week. Temperatures could reach the lower 20s away from the coast across northern Florida and near the freezing mark as far south as Lake Okeechobee.

Cold Weather Release

12/31/09 - U.S. Small Business Administration Approves Disaster Loan Programs For Broward County

Governor Charlie Crist and Florida emergency management officials today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved disaster loan funds for Broward County residents and businesses in response to the severe storms and flooding that occurred on December 17-18, 2009

SBA Declaration Release
SBA Fact Sheet

01/07/10 - North Floridians Urged To Use Caution As The Cold Front May Cause Hazardous Driving Conditions Friday

cold weather imageState officials are urging residents and visitors across the Florida Panhandle to use caution as the next cold front may cause slick roads and bridges in rural areas during the overnight period into Friday morning.

“With the very cold rain and near freezing temperatures forecast to accompany the next arctic cold front moving into the state tonight, there is a possibility that some rural bridges and roads may have ice,” said Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors across the region should use extra caution as they travel early Friday morning.”

North Floridaians Urged to Use Caution Release

12/23/09 - Cold Weather Safety Tips

fireplace


  • Have gas heaters and other gas appliances checked for leaks or damage.
  • Check and clean air conditioners of dust that could spark a fire when turned on for the first time.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, walls and drapes.
  •  Never use space heaters in sleeping areas.
  • Clean chimneys regularly and do not burn anything in the fireplace other than firewood.
  • Burn candles in a sturdy holder and extinguish all flame when leaving a room or at bedtime.
  • Keep children and pets away from any flame or fire source.
  • Review and practice your family’s fire escape plan.   

12/23/09 - Governor Crist Requests SBA Declaration for Broward County Flood Survivors

On December 23, Governor Charlie Crist requested a disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to aid Broward County residents impacted by the recent severe weather and flooding rains that occurred on December 17 and 18, 2009.

 “A disaster declaration from the SBA will help our fellow South Floridians repair their homes and businesses following last week’s flooding,” said Governor Crist.  “We anticipate our request will result in welcome assistance for those affected.”

Governor Crist Requests SBA Declaration Release
Governor's Request

01/07/10 - Flash Report

01/05/10 - Flash Report

01/01/10 - Flash Report

01/01/10 - Colder Temperatures Anticipated This Weekend Across Much Of Northern Florida

cold weather imageState officials are urging residents and visitors in Northern Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark across much of the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and Nature Coast. Temperatures could reach as low as the mid to upper 20s away from the coast. North Floridians should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety. The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

Cold Weather Release

 

Updated:
September 2, 2014 11:02


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