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2014 News Archive

The articles below are archived from the main page of www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp.

10/27/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

~Florida Health Officials Continue Ebola Readiness Efforts~

October 27, 2014 - The Florida Department of Health is carrying out Governor Rick Scott's Executive Order to conduct 21-day health monitoring and risk assessments for all those who have returned or will return to Florida from the CDC designated Ebola-affected areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Public Health staff from the Department's county offices visit with these individuals twice daily for in-person temperature checks. Currently, the Department of Health is conducting active monitoring for six low-risk individuals.

In addition, the Department has completed delivery of First Responder readiness packages to Department offices around the state. These supplemental personal protective equipment packages are strategically positioned so that additional equipment can be provided within one hour or less in the event local first responder needs exceed existing resources.

10/27/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/25/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Governor Scott Issues Executive Order Requiring Mandatory Health Monitoring for Anyone Returning from Ebola-Affected Areas~

October 25, 2014 - Governor Rick Scott signed an Executive Order mandating twice-daily 21-day health monitoring for people returning from CDC designated Ebola-affected areas.

Governor Scott said, “This executive order will give the Florida Department of Health the authority they need to conduct 21-day health monitoring and risk assessments for all those who have returned or will return to Florida from the CDC designated Ebola-affected areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. We have asked the CDC to identify the risk levels of all returning individuals from these areas, but they have not provided that information. Therefore, we are moving quickly to require the four individuals who have returned to Florida already and anyone in the future who will return to Florida from an Ebola area to take part in twice daily 21-day health evaluations with DOH personnel."

10/25/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/24/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Governor Scott Calls on Feds to Require Same Monitoring for Volunteer Workers as US Military to Protect Citizens, After New Ebola Case~

October 24, 2014 - Governor Rick Scott released the following statement today, following the news of Doctor Craig Spencer testing positive for Ebola in New York after returning from Guinea last week where he treated Ebola patients:

“The news of Dr. Spencer testing positive for Ebola after returning to the US last week from treating Ebola patients makes it clear that the CDC and federal government must do more to protect healthcare workers around the world and our citizens here at home."

10/24/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/21/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

~Officials with the CDC Hold Conference Call with Florida's
Hospital Executives~

October 21, 2014 - Yesterday officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a statewide call with Florida's hospital executives in response to Governor Rick Scott's request for the CDC to share lessons learned for Ebola preparedness. The call provided guidance to hospitals on the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), effective clinical strategies for safety in hospitals, and appropriate management of Ebola medical waste.

The new CDC guidance emphasizes full coverage of skin, oversight by a trained site manager and limiting the number of employees in Ebola care areas. According to CDC officials on the Florida call, the guidelines suggest the use of an observer for donning and doffing PPE in a designated area adjacent to the patient's room.

10/21/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/20/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Governor Rick Scott: Florida National Guard Rapid Response Teams will further prepare for Ebola~

October 20, 2014, After meeting with Major General Emmett Titshaw today, Governor Scott announced that the Florida National Guard is currently establishing two Rapid Response Teams to further enhance Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts. Each National Guard Rapid Response team of 16 will include doctors, nurses and equipment personnel. These two teams are undergoing intensive training and will be ready by the end of the October to assist healthcare workers, if they are ever needed to supplement a hospital’s existing personnel. 

Governor Scott said, “Today, I met with General Titshaw on the Florida National Guard’s preparedness efforts in the event we ever have a case of Ebola in Florida. While our first responders and healthcare workers are the front line of care in the event of an Ebola case, our Florida National Guard is currently establishing two Rapid Response teams that can manage Ebola cases and provide support to hospitals, if needed.

10/20/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/18/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Gov. Scott: CDC Agrees to Florida Preparedness Requests~

October 18, 2014, Governor Scott announced that the CDC has agreed to two of the state’s requests for enhancing Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts, including holding a conference call with healthcare workers on best practices and federal approval of the state’s repurpose of more than $7 million in federal grant funding. The CDC, has still not provided the additional 27 testing kits, or contacted the passengers that flew on the Frontier flight from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale.

Governor Scott said, “We want to thank the CDC for agreeing to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on Monday, October 20th at 3:30pm. Our healthcare workers need to hear directly from the CDC on what happened in Dallas that allowed Ebola to be transmitted to two nurses, and what can be done to protect our healthcare professionals in Florida who are on the front lines. Florida hospitals also have questions of their own and the CDC must provide guidance.

“We appreciate the CDC’s preliminary approval to move forward with redirecting more than $7 million in federal grant funds to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to protect healthcare workers who may come into contact with Ebola. The CDC indicated that we will receive formal approval next week, but based on this preliminary approval, we have already begun using these funds to enhance our Ebola preparedness efforts.

10/18/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/17/14 - Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

~Strong to Moderate Rip Currents from Volusia to Indian River Counties~

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind beachgoers to check the surf conditions at public beaches, as strong to moderate rip currents are forecast form Volusia to Indian River Counties through Sunday. Understanding the beach warning flags will help to keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the waters. When red flags are flying, swimming in Florida's coastal waters can be dangerous.

"Rip currents can occur even in waters that appear to be calm," said Assistant State Meteorologist Bianca Hernandez. "Avoid swimming near piers and jetties, as rip currents are likely to occur in these areas even when low-risk conditions are forecast."

10/17/14 - Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

10/17/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Department of Health Receives CDC Approval to Redirect Funding~

The Florida Department of Health today received interim approval from the CDC to move forward with redirecting federal grant funds to purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to ensure Florida is prepared for the emerging Ebola virus. The CDC has indicated that Florida will receive a Notice of Award next week which will serve as the official approval for repurposing this portion of the funds. Florida is working to redirect over $7 million in federal grant funding to Ebola preparedness efforts, specifically for the purchase of high-level Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect our health care workers.

10/17/14 - Joint Information Center Afternoon Update

10/17/14 - Joint Information Center Update

Governor Rick Scott: Florida is not waiting on the Federal Government to be prepared for Ebola

~Calls on CDC to step up preparedness support in Florida ~

October 17, 2014, after meeting with officials today from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, as well the Department of Health, the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Division of Emergency Management, Governor Rick Scott made it clear that Florida is not waiting on the federal government for the state to prepare its citizens for a potential case of Ebola. Also today, Governor Scott urged the federal government to add Florida airports to the list of airports that have increased federal safety steps.

Governor Scott said, “We are thankful we do not have a case of Ebola in Florida and we hope we never do. But, my top priority is making sure that Florida stays safe. The CDC and the federal government have already admitted that they have failed to get ahead of the spread of Ebola in other states and we aren’t going to let that happen in Florida. We are not going to simply wait for the federal government to be prepared. We are taking action.

“Today, we are demanding the attention of the CDC and the federal government to ensure we have what we need to be prepared to respond and keep our state safe. The federal government should add Florida airports to the list of airports that are implementing additional screening for patients. At this time, five US airports have implemented these additional screenings, and Florida airports should be included.”

10/17/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/16/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Governor Rick Scott: CDC Must Contact Fort Lauderdale Frontier Passengers on Any Risks; Move Quickly on State's Request for Resources~

October 16, 2014, Governor Scott released the following statement today following the news that the second healthcare worker, Amber Joy Vinson, diagnosed with Ebola traveled on Frontier Airlines on October 13th with a low-grade fever.

“The CDC announced that they are contacting those passengers on the airplane with nurse Amber Joy Vinson, and I am asking them to expand their contacts today to include all passengers traveling on that plane for the full 24 hours after Amber’s flight. Within 24 hours of Amber’s flight with a low-grade fever, we know the plane made five additional stops including one into and one out of our Fort Lauderdale Airport.

“The CDC has already admitted that they have been slow to respond to developing cases of Ebola, and we do not want to take any risk of Ebola coming to Florida. Their immediate action to contact all these passengers today is essential to explaining any potential health risks to themselves and their family. I want all Florida passengers to have as much information as possible directly from the CDC to ease any of their fears and understand any way they could have made contact with the disease.

10/16/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/15/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~Gov. Scott: "Florida Hospitals Need to Hear Directly from the CDC to Better Protect our Healthcare Workers from Ebola"~

October 15, 2014, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to instruct Florida hospitals on best practices and what lessons have been learned from their experience in Dallas to best protect Florida healthcare workers in the event that Florida has an Ebola patient.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Now that there is a second healthcare worker with Ebola in Dallas, we want Florida hospitals to hear directly from the CDC on how to best protect our health care workers on the front lines. While the CDC has existing guidance, there have been public reports from nurses in Texas that either that guidance was not followed, or the guidance for healthcare workers needs to be updated. Whatever the case may be, Florida hospitals must hear any new safety guidelines directly from the CDC in the next 48 hours so our hospitals are best prepared to protect the health of nurses, doctors and patients.

“We are asking the CDC to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on the best training and personal protective equipment protocols in the next 48 hours because we have to act with a sense of urgency to ensure our hospitals are prepared.

10/15/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/14/14 - Joint Information Center Update

~State Surgeon General Sends Letter to CDC Regarding PPE~

October 14, 2014

Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2920 Brandywine Road
Atlanta, GA  30341

Re: 5U90TP000508-03
Notice of Redirection of Funds

Dear Dr. Frieden,
This letter is to notify you of the Florida Department of Health's action to redirect funds under the Notice of Award listed above, in order to strengthen Florida's preparedness efforts related to the emerging Ebola threat.

The Department is immediately redirecting $250,000 of unobligated Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) funds and $1 million of unobligated Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) funds. Further, the Department intends to redirect additional unobligated and carry forward funds from these grant programs ($1.8 million from HPP and $4.0 million from PHEP) for the purchase of additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to further enhance our readiness for Ebola and other emerging diseases.

Thank you for your prompt attention. 

Sincerely,

John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS
State Surgeon General  & Secretary

cc:  Sonja Rasmussen, MD, MS, Acting Director, Office of Public Health Readiness and Response
       Paul Link, RN, MSHS, Field Officer, Region IV, HHS ASPR Hospital Preparedness Program
       Nicole Bradshaw Jackson, Public Health Advisor, Region VI, Division of State & Local Readiness
       Sharron Orum,Grants and Procurement Specialist

10/14/14 - Joint Information Center Update

10/13/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

~Department of Health Stations Readiness Packages for Health Care Facilities~

October 13, 2014, the Joint Information Center (JIC) provided an update on the state’s preparedness efforts for Ebola.

The Florida Department of Health has put a system in place to provide emergency “readiness packages” to requesting hospitals to supplement their existing supplies in the event of a suspect case of Ebola or other serious infectious disease.

“Hospital and health care professionals are an integral part of the ongoing preparedness efforts being made to protect Floridians and visitors,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. “These readiness packages will provide additional tools to protect our patients, health care professionals, and communities.”

10/13/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

10/13/14 - Northwest Florida Urged To Use Caution As Storm System Brings Periods Of Heavy Rains And Wind

~Heavy Rains, Gusty Winds, and Tornadoes Possible Overnight through Tuesday ~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors across North Florida to stay alert as potentially heavy rainfall and gusty winds enter the area overnight.

“A strong cold front could bring severe weather across North Florida late tonight and tomorrow, as it enters the Panhandle during pre-dawn hours and pushes eastward,” said Deputy State Meteorologist, Tiffany Hersey.  “Residents and visitors should monitor local broadcasts for updates and have a plan for severe weather should it occur.”

Up to three inches of rain is forecast, with isolated amounts of up to six inches.  Localized flooding and wind gusts in excess of 60 mph are the main concern, but isolated stronger storms could produce hail, or a tornado.

Northwest Florida Urged To Use Caution As Storm System Brings Periods Of Heavy Rains And Wind

10/10/14 - Joint Information Center

~Friday, October 10, Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness~

October 10, 2014, the Joint Information Center (JIC) provided an update on the state's preparedness efforts for Ebola.

The Florida Department of Health has been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that confirmatory testing on the individual in Miami has been concluded and the results are negative for Ebola. The individual was originally tested by the Department on October 5 and those results were negative. The Department continues outreach efforts to hospitals, health care providers and first responders to ensure that Florida remains prepared to respond if an Ebola case is diagnosed in Florida.

10/10/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

10/09/14 - Joint Information Center

~Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness~

October 9, 2014, the Joint Information Center (JIC) provided an update on the state’s preparedness efforts for Ebola.

The Department of Health learned Wednesday evening that the “Millennium Campus Network” and UNICEF are hosting an international summit on global development at Lynn University in Boca Raton, which will include West African delegates, students from Liberia, U.S. Secretary of State officials, leaders of the Peace Corps, the World Health Organization, and several other high-level federal officials. State officials with the Department of Health and the Division of Emergency Management have reached out to federal authorities to determine what kind of safeguards the federal officials have put in place to ensure the health and safety of conference attendees and Floridians during the meeting.

During President Obama’s White House call yesterday, states were encouraged to seek federal assistance should potential Ebola preparedness questions arise; therefore, state agencies have asked for CDC and HHS guidance on what, if any, additional county or state support is needed to support the summit.  

10/09/14 - Joint Information Center Update on Preparedness

10/08/14 - Joint Information Center

~Governor Rick Scott: White House Putting Some Travel Restrictions On Ebola Countries Is Common Sense~

October 8, 2014, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement following his briefing this morning with Florida health and emergency officials and an afternoon conference call with President Obama:

“We are still urging the President to fulfill our request for 30 testing kits the state has requested from the CDC and an additional 100 units of high-level protective gear. Florida still does not have any confirmed cases of Ebola, and we hope we never do, but we must continue to do everything possible to keep our citizens and our visitors safe. 

10/08/14 - Governor Rick Scott: White House Putting Some Travel Restrictions On Ebola Countries Is Common Sense

10/06/14 - Joint Information Center

~Governor Scott: We are Working With Texas to Learn from Their Ebola Response & Continuing to Coordinate with Florida's Airports and Ports to Keep State Fully Prepared~

October 6, 2014, Governor Scott issued an update on Ebola preparedness activities throughout the state, following the news that the Miami patient tested for Ebola has tested negative in a preliminary test. Further testing will be completed later this week to rule out any possibility of Ebola.

Governor Rick Scott said, "We are glad to hear that the test for the Miami patient was indeed negative for Ebola and we are hopeful that further CDC and Department of Health analysis will back up this preliminary negative result later this week. While we have no confirmed cases of Ebola in Florida, we are continuing to take every step possible to best protect our citizens and our tourists.

"Today, I spoke to Texas Governor Rick Perry about what their state has learned from responding to the confirmed Ebola patient in Dallas. We will stay in communication with Texas officials as their response and treatment efforts continue to develop. Florida state agencies also held conference calls with our state's airport and port leaders today to share information on preparedness steps at each of their facilities. Supporting the preparedness efforts of our airports and our ports means we must have a tremendous partnership between the state, federal officials and local leaders on the ground. We will continue to communicate regularly with these leaders in the days ahead as Florida continues to hope for the best while we prepare for the worst."

10/06/14 - Joint Information Center Afternoon Update

10/06/14 - Joint Information Center

~Miami Patient Tests Negative for Ebola in Preliminary Test~

October 6, 2014, the Joint Information Center announced that the Miami patient who was tested for Ebola on Sunday tested negative in a preliminary test that was conducted by the Florida Department of Health's (DOH) lab in Miami. In following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, another sample from the patient was sent to the CDC's Atlanta lab for confirmation of this negative result. The CDC's results are expected on Wednesday.

Florida does not have any confirmed cases of Ebola. To enhance Florida's readiness for Ebola, on Sunday, at the request of Governor Rick Scott, DOH requested 30 additional Ebola testing kits from the CDC and 100 units of additional high-level personal protective equipment.

The Florida Department of Health is working in consultation with CDC to determine on a case-by-case basis whether testing for Ebola is necessary.

10/06/14 - Joint Information Center

09/25/14 - Florida Marks the 10TH Anniversary Of Hurricane Jeanne

~It Only Takes One Storm to Change the Landscape of a Community~

Hurricane Jeanne 2004Midnight tonight marks the hour when Hurricane Jeanne made landfall in Martin and St. Lucie Counties ten years ago.  The Category 3 storm the fourth and final to make landfall in Florida that year struck the same area hit by Hurricane Frances just three weeks earlier. 

On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Jeanne, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business, and community.

“Hurricane Jeanne struck an area that had already been devastated less than a month before,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to prepare and remain vigilant to the hurricane threat, especially now during the peak of hurricane season”

Hurricane Jeanne first made landfall near Hutchison Island, then made its way north through the central part of the state.  Jeanne weakened to a tropical storm before crossing into Georgia 24 hours later. 

Florida Marks the 10TH Anniversary Of Hurricane Jeanne

09/23/14 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management To Train With Florida National Guard Civil Support Team

~ Units Bring Enhanced Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Hazard Response Capabilities~

On Wednesday, September 24, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida National Guard (FLNG) will conduct an interagency coordination event to highlight the capabilities of the 44th Civil Support Team (CST).

 Members of the 44th CST stationed at Camp Blanding will visit the State Emergency Operations Center from 10 AM to 3 PM to brief civilian emergency management partners in the team’s unique abilities, procedures and equipment used in Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRN).

“The Civil Support Teams have chemical, biological and radiological response capabilities that exceed those of local emergency management organizations,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “We appreciate the opportunity prepare alongside them and to learn more about what they can offer.”

The 44th CST is comprised of full-time National Guard members, and is one of two such teams in Florida, the other is the 48th CST based at the United States Coast Guard Air Station in Clearwater.

FDEM To Train With Florida National Guard Civil Support Team

09/16/14 - Florida Marks The 10th Anniversary Of Hurricane Ivan

~It Only Takes One Storm to Change the Landscape of a Community~

hurricane IvanSeptember 16 marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Ivan.  Ivan was the third of the 2004 North Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall in Florida, and left behind an estimated $14.2 billion in damages.

In recalling the devastating 2004 hurricane season, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business and community.

“Hurricane Ivan became a real test of our resiliency, because it followed so closely behind Hurricanes Charley and Frances,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Ivan demonstrated the true values of preparedness and continued vigilance, and all Floridians should use this anniversary to ensure their current levels of readiness.”

On September 16, 2004, Hurricane Ivan made landfall just west of Gulf Shores, Ala., as a Category 3 storm, with winds that reached 120 mph. The eye of the storm grew to nearly 50 nautical miles in diameter, which resulted in the strongest winds impacting a narrow area between the southern Alabama border and Florida’s panhandle.

Ivan’s landfall in Florida came just 11 days after Hurricane Frances, and just six weeks after Hurricane Charley became the first hurricane to hit the state. Ivan was followed by Hurricane Jeanne just nine days later.

Florida Marks The 10th Anniversary Of Hurricane Ivan

09/05/14 - Florida Marks The 10th Anniversary Of Hurricane Frances

~It Only Takes One Storm to Change the Landscape of a Community~

hurricane FrancesToday marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Frances, which was the second of the 2004 North Atlantic hurricanes to make landfall in Florida. Frances left behind an estimated $9 billion in damage and evacuation orders were issued for 2.8 million Floridians.

In recalling the devastating 2004 hurricane season, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business and community.

“Hurricane Frances was the second storm of what became a historic season,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Bryan W. Koon. “Take a moment today to remember where you were when this storm hit us, and ask yourself how well you would be prepared today if it were to happen again right now.”

Hurricane Frances made landfall near Sewall’s Point as a Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 105 mph. Frances then moved across central Florida and was downgraded to a tropical storm before emerging just north of Tampa. Frances again made landfall as a tropical storm the following day when it crossed into St. Marks.

Florida Marks The 10th Anniversary Of Hurricane Frances

09/11/14 - South Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Tropical System Brings Potential For Heavy Rain And Flooding

~Florida Division of Emergency Management Monitoring Localized Weather Development~

Tropical System 09-11-2014The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors in South Florida to stay alert and be prepared as a storm system off the Atlantic Coast moves inland and brings the potential for heavy rainfall through the weekend.

“A tropical wave is forecast to bring increased moisture, and resulting thunderstorms in portions of South Florida could lead to isolated flooding concerns,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “All Floridians should monitor local forecasts and be alert for possible flooding conditions.”

Periods of heavy rains are expected through the weekend with projected rainfall totals of one to three inches across South Florida. Localized rainfall totals could reach up to six inches, posing flooding concerns in urban and low-lying areas. Gusty winds and lightning strikes will be possible with any thunderstorms that develop.

South Florida Residents Urged To Use Caution As Tropical System Brings Potential For Heavy Rain And Flooding

08/29/14 - Labor Day Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

~ Be Aware of Conditions Represented by Beach Warning Flags~

ripcurrentsFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind beachgoers to check the surf conditions at public beaches.  Understanding the beach warning flags will help to keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the waters.  When red flags are flying, swimming in Florida’s coastal waters can be dangerous.

“Rip currents can be difficult to detect especially around piers and jetties,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Pay attention to the beach warning flags for current surf conditions, and be sure you know what to do if you experience a rip current.”

Labor Day Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

08/13/14 - Florida Remembers Hurricane Charley on 10th Anniversary

~It Only Takes One Storm to Change the Landscape of a Community~

Hurricane Charley 2004Ten years ago, Hurricane Charley made landfall near Port Charlotte in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, making it the strongest storm since Hurricane Andrew to impact Florida. On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Charley, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business, and community.

“Hurricane Charley was the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida during the 2004 season. Florida’s State Emergency Response Team worked together to provide support during the response and recovery of the storm,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The 2004 hurricane season produced some of the most devastating hurricanes in Florida’s history and serves as a reminder that hurricanes can change the landscape of a community.”

Hurricane Charley’s impact was felt across the state as it made its way through the Central and Eastern counties before exiting the state near New Smyrna Beach. Charley left behind an estimated $15 billion in damage and was just the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida that year.

Floridians are encouraged to review and update their family and business emergency plans using the Get A Plan tool available at www.FLGetAPlan.com. It is also important to keep your disaster supply kit stocked with essentials, including canned food and water, to last you and your family for up to 7 days after a storm hits.

Florida Remembers Hurricane Charley on 10th Anniversary

08/08/14 - Florida Deploys Emergency Operations Manager to Hawaii

~Deputy Operations Chief to Assist in Response to Hurricanes Iselle and Julio~

Deputy Operations Chief Ashley DavisThe Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is acting upon a request for assistance from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, as the state responds to twin Hurricanes Iselle and Julio.

On Friday, August 8, FDEM deployed Deputy Operations Chief Ashley Davis to work with the Hawaiian response team. The move comes in response to a formal request initiated on August 6, by Hawaii Emergency Management officials through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). The EMAC request specified the need for an experienced team member to assist with the coordination and implementation of emergency response missions.

“Managing multiple storms presents a tremendous challenge to any emergency management agency,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon.  “Florida gained multiple-storm experience during the 2004-2005 hurricane season, and we stand ready to provide assistance and share the lessons we learned with other states if requested.”

Florida Deploys Emergency Operations Manager to Hawaii

06/25/14 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Earns National Accreditation For Third Consecutive Time

~Florida Becomes First State to Receive Accreditation in Three Consecutive Efforts~

emap logoThe Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) earned accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) for the third consecutive time, making Florida the first state to accomplish this achievement.

Nationwide, emergency management is strengthening in professional preparedness from the local level to a national scale, and accreditation represents a significant achievement. Florida has been EMAP accredited since 2003 when it was one of the first states to go through the accreditation process. Since then, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has seen leadership and organizational changes and EMAP has undergone revisions to three versions of the Emergency Management Standard. Through this diversity, FDEM continued to maintain its program to the rigorous yet scalable, nationally-acclaimed industry standard for emergency management.

“The state of Florida positions itself as a leader in emergency management,” Barb Graff, Director of Seattle Office of Emergency Management and Chair of the EMAP Commission states, “Not only is this a major achievement for the Florida Division of Emergency Management to lead by example through maintaining nationally recognized standards, but it also is a statement on how far EMAP has come to grow as an organization.”

Florida Division Of Emergency Management Earns National Accreditation For Third Consecutive Time

06/30/14 - Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

~ Be Aware of Conditions Represented by Beach Warning Flags~

rip currents imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind beachgoers to check the surf conditions at public beaches. Understanding the beach warning flags will help to keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the waters. When red flags are flying, swimming in Florida’s coastal waters can be dangerous.

“Rip currents can be difficult to detect especially around piers and jetties,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Pay attention to the beach warning flags for current surf conditions, and be sure you know what to do if you experience a rip current.”

Beachgoers Encouraged To Monitor Surf Conditions At Florida Beaches

07/01/14 - Tropical Storm Arthur First Named Storm Of 2014 Season

TS Arthur image

~Floridians Encouraged to Stay Aware of Potential Impacts to Florida East Coast~

Emergency officials remind Floridians to monitor the weather and stay aware as Tropical Storm Arthur brings potential impacts to the Florida East Coast. Residents and visitors are advised to watch for elevated rip current risks along Atlantic Coast beaches, and isolated heavy rain and gusty winds across the Florida Peninsula from late today through Thursday. 

“The first storm of the season is always a great reminder for Floridians to prepare themselves and their families for hurricane season,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Residents and visitors to the Atlantic Coast should continue to monitor local weather conditions.”

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Volusia County through St. Lucie County. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions could possibly form in the designated area within the next 36 hours. Arthur could bring isolated rainfall totals of up to 5 inches to portions of East Central Florida, and there is an elevated possibility of isolated tornadoes and waterspouts along the Florida East Coast.

Tropical Storm Arthur First Named Storm Of 2014 Season

06/13/14 - Federal Public Assistance Approved For Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, And Calhoun Counties

~ Infrastructure Repairs in Nine Affected Counties Now Eligible for Reimbursement~

2014 Spring FloodsFederal Public Assistance has been designated for five additional Florida counties affected by recent spring flooding. Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson and Calhoun counties are now eligible to receive assistance to aid in repairing damage to public infrastructure.

The announcement follows the request for Public Assistance that was issued on Wednesday, June 11.  Dixie and Suwannee counties were also included in the same request and are still awaiting determination.

Public Assistance was previously designated on May 14, for Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the those counties can continue applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

Federal Public Assistance Approved For Holmes, Washington, Bay, Jackson, And Calhoun Counties

06/06/14 - Individual Assistance Requested For Gilchrist And Taylor Counties To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

2014 Spring FloodsA request was made on Friday, June 6, seeking federal Individual Assistance for Gilchrist and Taylor. This Individual Assistance, if approved, will aid in recovery from the recent flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties were designated for Individual Assistance on May 6. Walton and Okaloosa counties were designated on May 12. Jackson County was designated for Individual Assistance on May 21. Residents in the declared counties have been assisted by Disaster Recovery Centers that opened in their communities. A Recovery Intake Center opened in Jackson County to assist residents, and will be closing on Saturday June 7.

Individual Assistance Requested For Gilchrist And Taylor Counties To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

06/11/14 - Public Assistance Requested To Aid Seven Additional Florida Counties In Recovery From Spring Flooding

~Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Holmes, Jackson, Suwannee, and Washington Counties Requested~

2014 Spring FloodsA request was made on Wednesday, June 11, seeking federal Public Assistance for Bay, Calhoun, Dixie, Holmes, Jackson, Suwannee, and Washington counties. This Public Assistance, if approved, will aid in repairing damage to public infrastructure resulting from the recent flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

Public assistance was previously designated on May 14, for Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties Public Assistance provides grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. Costs for repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities can also be covered under Public Assistance.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the those counties can continue applying for assistance by registering online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov, by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.

Public Assistance Requested To Aid Seven Additional Florida Counties In Recovery From Spring Flooding

05/30/14 - Hurricane Supply Sales Tax Holiday Runs May 31 - June 8

~Florida Families Urged to Purchase Eligible Items in Preparation for Hurricane Season~

supply kitNational Hurricane Preparedness Week runs from May 25 to May 31, 2014, and emergency officials urge all Floridians to review, restock, and replace items in their disaster supply kit for the start of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Governor Scott signed a bill that creates a sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness supply items starting tomorrow, May 31 and running through June 8.

“The sales tax holiday for hurricane preparedness supplies will make preparing for this year’s hurricane season easier for all Floridians,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “By keeping money in Floridian’s pockets while encouraging them to prepare, we ensure Florida is ready for all hazards and continues to be the best state in the nation to work, live and play.”

Hurricane Supply Sales Tax Holiday Runs May 31 - June 8

05/29/14 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Launches New Kids Get A Plan Website

Kids get a Plan image

National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 25 May 31, and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is reminding all Floridians to include children and teens in their hurricane preparedness planning. Launched in 2004, the Kids Get a Plan www.KidsGetAPlan.com educational campaign includes books, activities, an interactive website, and mobile apps.

“KidsGetAPlan.com is an engaging and educational tool designed to help Florida’s youngest residents learn about disaster preparedness,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I encourage parents to visit this website with their kids and to help children better understand in a non-threatening way how to prepare for potential disasters.”

KidsGetAPlan.com is an interactive website that presents basic weather safety and emergency preparedness concepts through age-appropriate activities and stories.

Florida Division Of Emergency Management Launches New Kids Get A Plan Website

05/28/14 - Emergency Officials Remind Floridians To Have A Plan During National Hurricane Preparedness Week

~2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1st~

Hurricane Season is June 1-Nov 30National Hurricane Preparedness Week began Sunday, May 25 and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges all Floridians to use this week to prepare for hurricane season, which begins June 1. All Floridians should review family and business emergency plans and restock disaster supply kits.

“Each year, National Hurricane Preparedness Week reminds Floridians that it only takes one storm to change the landscape of a community,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “This year, on the 10th anniversary of the 2004 hurricane season, I urge all Floridians to take steps to prepare themselves and their families for the upcoming hurricane season.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released its annual outlook for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season on May 22. Forecasters predict between 8 and 13 named storms, of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes including 1 to 2 major hurricanes.

Emergency Officials Remind Floridians To Have A Plan During National Hurricane Preparedness Week

05/21/14 - Jackson County Receives Individual Assistance For Spring Flooding

~Floridians in Five Counties Now Eligible for Federal Aid~

2014 Spring FloodsGovernor Rick Scott announced today that federal assistance has been designated for Jackson County. The designation provides Individual Assistance to individuals and families who were affected by recent severe storms and flooding.

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties were designated for Individual Assistance on May 6. Walton and Okaloosa counties were designated on May 12. Residents in the declared counties are being assisted by Disaster Recovery Centers that opened in their communities.

Residents in Jackson County can expect Disaster Recovery Centers to open in their community in the coming days.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at

http://www.disasterassistance.gov


or by web enabled mobile device

at http://m.fema.gov


or by calling --


1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or

1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
for the

hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Individuals should register using DR-4177.

Jackson County Receives Individual Assistance For Spring Flooding

05/19/14 - 2014 Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Preparedness Supplies

supply kit

 

The 2014 Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Supplies will run from May 31 through June 8, 2014.

 

 

The specific items included in the Sales Tax Holiday include:

  • A portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less
  • A portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio selling for $50 or less
  • A tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting selling for $50 or less
  • A self-contained first-aid kit selling for $30 or less
  • A ground anchor system or tie-down kit selling for $50 or less
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less
  • A package of AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries, selling for $30 or less
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less
  • A portable generator that is used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage selling for $750 or less
  • Reusable ice selling for $10 or less

2014 Sales Tax Holiday for Hurricane Preparedness Supplies

05/21/14 - Disaster Recovery Centers Now Open In Okaloosa And Walton Counties

2014 Spring FloodsPersons in Okaloosa and Walton counties who were affected by recent heavy rains and the resulting spring flooding can now visit local disaster recovery centers to register for federal assistance. The disaster recovery centers will be open until 5 p.m. today, Saturday, May 17, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday May 18.

Beginning Monday, May 19, the centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.  The centers are located at:

Okaloosa County Disaster Recovery Center
Senior Centerview Parks & Recreation
205 Stillwell Blvd.
Crestview, FL 32536

Walton County Disaster Recovery Center
Community Church of Santa Rosa
3524 US 98
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Before going to a center, if possible, affected residents should register with FEMA.  Apply for assistance by registering online at DisasterAssistance.gov, via Smartphone at m.fema.gov or by phone at 800-621-3362.  Survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability can call (TTY) 800-462-7585.

Disaster Recovery Centers Now Open In Okaloosa And Walton Counties

05/19/14 - Florida State Emergency Response Team Conducts 2014 Statewide Hurricane Exercise

Monday, May 19th, marked the start of the 2014 Florida Statewide Hurricane Exercise, which runs through Thursday, May 23 at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) annual exercise tests Florida’s emergency plans and procedures for a potential hurricane landfall, in preparation for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season. Along with federal, local and private-sector partners, FDEM will simulate emergency response efforts to manage an evolving hurricane scenario.

“Each year, the statewide hurricane exercise serves as an opportunity to flex our muscles and reaffirm relationships in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season,” said Bryan W. Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “Just as we test and update our plans before the start of each season, all Floridians should use the opportunity to review and update their emergency plans and disaster supply kits to ensure they are ready for any hazard that they may face.”

Florida State Emergency Response Team Conducts 2014 Statewide Hurricane Exercise

05/20/14 - Individual Assistance Requested For Jackson County To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

2014 Spring FloodsA request was made on Tuesday, May 20, seeking federal Individual Assistance for Jackson County. This Individual Assistance, if approved, will aid in recovery from the recent flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties were designated for Individual Assistance on May 6. Walton and Okaloosa counties were designated on May 13. Residents in the declared counties are being assisted by Disaster Recovery Centers that opened in their communities.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at

http://www.disasterassistance.gov


or by web enabled mobile device

at http://m.fema.gov


or by calling --


1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or

1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
for the

hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Individuals should register using DR-4177.

Individual Assistance Requested For Jackson County To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

05/14/14 - Federal Public Assistance Approved For Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties

2014 Spring FloodsGovernor Rick Scott announced today that federal Public Assistance has been granted for Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties.  Public Assistance funding will aid these local governments in rebuilding infrastructure after severe storms and flooding impacted their Florida communities.

Governor Scott requested Public Assistance funding for all four counties on May 8.

“Whereas Individual Assistance benefits the survivors of a disaster who have suffered losses to personal property, Public Assistance is directed toward specified counties to repair damaged public infrastructure,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “The State is reaching out to local governments who may be eligible for Public Assistance. Persons seeking Indivdual Assistance should contact their local Disaster Recovery Center.”

Federal Public Assistance Approved For Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties

05/13/14 - Okaloosa And Walton Counties Receive Individual Assistance For Spring Flooding

~Individual Assistance Now Available in Four Florida Counties~

2014 Spring FloodsGovernor Rick Scott announced yesterday that federal assistance has been granted to two additional counties impacted by the severe storms and flooding. The declaration provides Individual Assistance to individuals and families in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were granted Individual Assistance on May 6.

“This assistance will continue to help those in the impacted counties work to rebuild and return to their normal lives,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “Anyone who experienced damage as a result of this storm should register with FEMA for assistance.”

Residents in the declared counties can expect Disaster Recovery Centers to open in their community in the coming days. Disaster Recovery Centers are temporary facilities located in or near the impacted area where survivors can go to obtain disaster related information. Centers are staffed with specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a variety of disaster-recovery representatives from local and voluntary agencies.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online at

http://www.disasterassistance.gov


or by web enabled mobile device

at http://m.fema.gov


or by calling --


1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or

1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
for the

hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Individuals should register using DR-4177.

Okaloosa And Walton Counties Receive Individual Assistance For Spring Flooding

05/12/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

Situation Report No. 8 for May 12, 2014

05/10/14 - Individual Assistance Requested For Okaloosa And Walton Counties To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

2014 Spring FloodsA request was made on Friday, May 9, seeking federal Individual Assistance for Okaloosa and Walton Counties. This Individual Assistance, if approved for these additional counties, will aid in recovery from the recent flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties were granted Individual Assistance on May 6. Residents in the declared counties can expect Disaster Recovery Centers to open in their community in the coming days. Disaster Recovery Centers are temporary facilities located in or near the impacted area where survivors can go to obtain disaster related information. Centers are staffed with specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a variety of disaster-recovery representatives from local and voluntary agencies.

Individual Assistance Requested For Okaloosa And Walton Counties To Aid In Recovery From Spring Flooding

05/09/14 - Governor Scott Requests Federal Declaration Be Extended To Include Public Assistance Funding

2014 Spring FloodsOn Thursday, May 8, Governor Rick Scott requested federal Public Assistance for Florida counties, in addition to the Individual Assistance that was granted to Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Public Assistance funding will aid local governments in rebuilding infrastructure after the severe storms and flooding that impacted Florida communities. Governor Scott requested Public Assistance funding be granted for Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties.

“Public Assistance, if granted, will assist communities in re-building damaged infrastructure, and will help the survivors in those communities return to normal,” said State Coordinating Officer, Bryan W. Koon.

Public Assistance provides grant assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures. Costs for repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly-owned facilities can also be covered under Public Assistance.

Public Assistance from the federal declaration comes in conjunction with the earlier approval of Individual Assistance for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the those counties can continue applying for assistance starting today by registering online at

http://www.disasterassistance.gov


or by web enabled mobile device

at http://m.fema.gov


or by calling --


1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or

1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
for the

hearing and speech impaired.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

To learn more about counties affected, visit the 2014 Spring Flood webpage.

Governor Scott Requests Federal Declaration Be Extended To Include Public Assistance Funding

05/06/14 - Florida Counties Receive Federal Disaster Declaration For Spring Flooding

2014 Spring FloodsGovernor Rick Scott announced Tuesday, May 6th, that the State of Florida received a Presidential Declaration to provide federal assistance to counties impacted by the severe storms and flooding April 28 May 6, 2014. The declaration for Individual Assistance provides federal assistance to individuals and families who were affected in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

“The declaration for federal assistance in these counties will help Floridians as they begin to recover and rebuild,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “As more damage assessments are finalized we will work to expand the declaration request so that all Florida’s communities impacted by this storm are provided assistance.”

Residents in the declared counties can expect Disaster Recovery Centers to open in their community in the coming days. Disaster Recovery Centers are temporary facilities located in or near the impacted area where survivors can go to obtain disaster related information. Centers are staffed with specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a variety of disaster-recovery representatives from local and voluntary agencies.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance starting today by registering online at

http://www.disasterassistance.gov


or by web enabled mobile device

at http://m.fema.gov


by tablet or smartphone using the

FEMA app

or by calling --


1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or

1-800-462-7585 (TTY)
for the

hearing and speech impaired.

The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice. Individuals should register using DR-4177.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

To learn more about counties affected, visit the 2014 Spring Flood webpage.

Florida Counties Receive Federal Disaster Declaration For Spring Flooding

05/08/14 - Health Officials Urge Floridians To Use Caution And Practice Safety During Clean-Up From Spring Flood
  • Clean up debris to avoid injury, contamination
  • Receive proper wound care, Tetanus vaccine where appropriate for cuts, lacerations
  • Avoid heat exhaustion, dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water

Health Officials and the State Emergency Response Team urge Floridians to practice safety tips when cleaning in and around their homes. Residents and others working to clean up debris left by recent flooding in Florida’s Panhandle could be at risk of sustaining injuries, and as the warming trend continues could experience heat stress. It is important for all persons involved in clean up to know who may need a tetanus vaccination, and the best ways to avoid heat stress when working outside or in non-air-conditioned buildings.

Exposure to mold, mosquitoes, water-borne illness, heat exhaustion and dehydration are some of the health risks people may experience,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “It is important for everyone to take steps to keep themselves and their family healthy and safe during this time.”

Health Officials Urge Floridians To Use Caution And Practice Safety During Clean-Up From Spring Flood

05/09/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

Situation Report No. 7 for May 9, 2014

05/08/14 - Health Officials Urge Floridians To Use Caution And Practice Safety During Clean-Up From Spring Flood
  • Clean up debris to avoid injury, contamination
  • Receive proper wound care, Tetanus vaccine where appropriate for cuts, lacerations
  • Avoid heat exhaustion, dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water

Health Officials and the State Emergency Response Team urge Floridians to practice safety tips when cleaning in and around their homes. Residents and others working to clean up debris left by recent flooding in Florida’s Panhandle could be at risk of sustaining injuries, and as the warming trend continues could experience heat stress. It is important for all persons involved in clean up to know who may need a tetanus vaccination, and the best ways to avoid heat stress when working outside or in non-air-conditioned buildings.

Exposure to mold, mosquitoes, water-borne illness, heat exhaustion and dehydration are some of the health risks people may experience,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “It is important for everyone to take steps to keep themselves and their family healthy and safe during this time.”

Health Officials Urge Floridians To Use Caution And Practice Safety During Clean-Up From Spring Flood

05/06/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

2014 Spring Flood image“Residents and business owners who experienced damage do not need to wait to learn if federal assistance is available to begin clean-up efforts, but should be sure to document damages and keep repair receipts,” said State Coordinating Officer, Bryan W. Koon.  

For complete update please see report.

Other important information:

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments Survey Damage From Flooding Incident In Panhandle

Health Officials Urge Panhandle Residents To Take Caution Around Flood Waters

Health Officials Warn Floridians Of Health Dangers Posed By Mold In Water-Damaged Buildings

For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

05/06/14 - Health Officials Remind Floridians In Flooded Areas Of Potential For Mosquito Activity

~ Take Simple Steps to “Drain and Cover” ~

mosquito imageFlorida Health Officials, along with the State Emergency Response Team, remind Floridians to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to limit exposure when performing home cleanup following the recent flooding in the Florida Panhandle.

“Residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “Take simple steps to protect yourself and your family, like wearing protective clothing and using repellent when outside. Draining and dumping water is also important to prevent mosquitoes from emerging in large numbers over the coming weeks.”

For more information on what repellent is right for you, consider using the Environmental Protection Agency's search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products: http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect.

For more prevention tips and information on mosquito-borne illnesses, contact your county health department or visit the Florida Department of Health website. Follow the Florida Department of Health on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Health Officials Remind Floridians In Flooded Areas Of Potential For Mosquito Activity

05/05/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

2014 Spring Flood image"As of May 05, 2014, Monday, Governor Scott requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to provide disaster assistance to those affected by the flooding. Additional counties may be included in the request as damage assessments continue throughout the week,” said State Coordinating Officer, Bryan W. Koon. “As we begin the recovery process, individuals should take precautions and follow health advisories, and continue to report damage to their local county emergency management offices.”

For complete update please see report.

Other important information:

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments Survey Damage From Flooding Incident In Panhandle

Health Officials Urge Panhandle Residents To Take Caution Around Flood Waters

Health Officials Warn Floridians Of Health Dangers Posed By Mold In Water-Damaged Buildings

For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

State Emergency Response Team Update On Spring Flooding

05/05/14 - Governor Scott Requests Major Disaster Declaration For Flooding

On Monday, May 5, Governor Rick Scott requested federal assistance for Florida communities to assist in recovery from the recent severe weather and flooding event. Governor Scott requested a Major Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.

“After a disaster, our goal is to work as quickly as possible to help communities recover and rebuild,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “While no entity can fully erase the impacts of this disaster, federal assistance will go long way to help those communities return a sense of normalcy.

If a declaration is received then Individual Assistance will be available to individuals in those qualifying counties. Governor Scott’s initial request is based on Preliminary Damage Assessments, and may be amended to include additional counties as Preliminary Damage Assessments are finalized.

State officials, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local county emergency management agencies, will continue to conduct damage assessments as additional counties complete their initial damage assessments. Visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/recovery for details about the damage assessment process and types of assistance that may be available.

Preliminary Damage Assessments are initiated by county emergency management agencies. Individuals who have experienced disaster-related damage to homes or businesses should call their local county Emergency Management Office to receive disaster-related information and to document their damages with officials.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Governor Scott Requests Major Disaster Declaration For Flooding

05/02/14 - Cash Donations Encouraged For Those Experiencing Flooding And Storm Damage In North Florida

Volunteer Florida logoThe State Emergency Response Team  (SERT) and Volunteer Florida encourage prospective donors who would like to assist Floridians impacted by the severe storms and flooding in north Florida to make cash donations with established disaster relief organizations.

“Supporting established and reputable relief organizations is a great way to assist those who have been impacted or displaced by the flooding in north Florida,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “Cash donations are the best way for these organizations to help survivors return to normal as quickly as possible.”

“As the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend areas continue to experience flooding, we ask those Floridians who want to help to make cash donations to established disaster relief organizations in order to most efficiently assist their neighbors in need,” said Chester Spellman, Volunteer Florida CEO.

For more information on donations and volunteering, visit www.volunteerflorida.org.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Cash Donations Encouraged For Those Experiencing Flooding And Storm Damage In North Florida

05/02/14 - Spring 2014 Flooding Update

2014 Spring Flood imageAs of May 02, 2014, Friday, 12 p.m., 22 customers are without power in 6 counties. There are 5 shelters open in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Washington counties. One death has been confirmed as a result of the flooding event. Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment teams are scheduled to visit the impacted areas.  No further situation reports will be issued until Monday. For complete update please see report.

Other important information:

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments Survey Damage From Flooding Incident In Panhandle

Health Officials Urge Panhandle Residents To Take Caution Around Flood Waters

Health Officials Warn Floridians Of Health Dangers Posed By Mold In Water-Damaged Buildings

For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Spring 2014 Flooding Update

05/01/14 - Emergency Officials Remind Florida Residents To Be Cautious As Recovery Efforts Commence Across The Panhandle

SERT logoAs recovery efforts commence across the Panhandle, the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) urges Florida residents to identify Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) team members before providing any information.

All team members wear a shirt bearing the official SERT logo and carry state identification. PDA team members may ask about your damages and insurance, but DO NOT REQUIRE any personal identifiable information, such as a social security number.

PDA teams typically include a local official, a representative from the State of Florida, a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and may also include a representative from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Teams began damage assessments on Thursday and will continue until all requesting counties have been served.

If you believe someone is fraudulently representing themselves, you should contact either your county emergency management office or call the non-emergency telephone number for local police.

If your home or business has suffered storm-related damage, you should contact your county emergency management office. The county emergency management office will be compiling the incoming requests for a PDA team assessment.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Emergency Officials Remind Florida Residents To Be Cautious As Recovery Efforts Commence Across The Panhandle

05/01/14 - Emergency Officials Remind Florida Residents To Be Cautious As Recovery Efforts Commence Across The Panhandle

SERT logoAs recovery efforts commence across the Panhandle, the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) urges Florida residents to identify Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) team members before providing any information.

All team members wear a shirt bearing the official SERT logo and carry state identification. PDA team members may ask about your damages and insurance, but DO NOT REQUIRE any personal identifiable information, such as a social security number.

PDA teams typically include a local official, a representative from the State of Florida, a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and may also include a representative from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Teams began damage assessments on Thursday and will continue until all requesting counties have been served.

If you believe someone is fraudulently representing themselves, you should contact either your county emergency management office or call the non-emergency telephone number for local police.

If your home or business has suffered storm-related damage, you should contact your county emergency management office. The county emergency management office will be compiling the incoming requests for a PDA team assessment.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

Emergency Officials Remind Florida Residents To Be Cautious As Recovery Efforts Commence Across The Panhandle

05/01/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Florida Panhandle Flooding Event

2014 Spring Flood imageNorth Florida is still feeling the effects of the severe storm and flooding event.  Moderate to light showers may continue, as a cold front draped across the Big Bend slowly pushes eastward throughout the day stalling in Northeast Florida by the evening hours. This front will stir up moderate to light showers across the Florida Panhandle with accumulated rainfall totals near to inch with isolated areas getting up to an inch of rain.

As of 1:30 pm EDT

  • Severe Weather Potential: By Friday morning, a passing cold front will have sagged south into the North-Central Peninsula.  However, a passing upper level weather disturbance will create another day of scattered showers and storms across North Florida. Current rain chances for Friday are at 50% across the Western Panhandle, increasing to near 80% in the Big Bend and 60% to 70% in the Suwannee River Valley and Northeast Florida. Rain will clear from west to east across the Panhandle throughout Friday and Friday night and an additional inch of rain is forecast to fall in the Western Panhandle, to 1.5 inches in the Big Bend, and up to 2 inches across the Suwannee River Valley and Nature Coast by Friday night.
  • River Flood Warning: Apalachicola, Shoal, St. Marks, Aucilla, Suwanee, Chipola, Choctawhatchee, Big Coldwater Creek, Blackwater, Escambia, Santa Fe and Perdido rivers.
  • High risk of rip currents: High rip current risk remains in effect through this evening for the beaches of the Big Bend and Panhandle.  Rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water.  Be sure to check the beach warning flags before swimming.

Florida Summary:

  • Florida's State Emergency Operations Center remains partially activated in response to flooding in North Florida.
  • It remains important for Floridians to stay cognizant of the developing weather situation and take necessary preparedness and safety actions. Tips are available at www.FloridaDisaster.org.
  • Shelters open: Escambia and Santa Rosa. Visit www.floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.htm for details.
  • School closures:  Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington.
  • State road and bridge closures: Visit to www.dot.state.fl.us and FL511.com for more information.
  • Total power outages: 667 customers.

For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.

State Emergency Response Team Update On Florida Panhandle Flooding Event

State Emergency Response Team Reminds Residents And Visitors To Remain Vigilant Following Storms

The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) urges residents and visitors in north Florida affected by this week’s severe weather and subsequent flooding to remain vigilant and to take precautions to ensure their continued safety.

  “The storms will continue to affect north Florida as river levels continue to rise,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “Monitor your NOAA weather radio or local media for instructions from local emergency management officials, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. The SERT will continue to provide assistance to counties who request it.”

Flood Warnings are in effect for the following counties: Calhoun, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, Washington.

This weather event has already caused flooding in 26 Florida counties. Check the tips that can help you and your family or business stay safe.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

State Emergency Response Team Reminds Residents And Visitors To Remain Vigilant Following Storms

04/30/14 - State Emergency Response Team Update On Florida Panhandle Flooding Event

2014 Spring Flood imageAs impacts from the severe storm and flooding event continue throughout the Florida Panhandle, Floridians are urged to use caution. Some areas of the state have experienced extreme rainfall during this storm and flooding remains the main concern for Florida's emergency management officials. Rain will continue to fall across much of the Florida Panhandle through the day with the main threat being heavy downpours, frequent lightning, gusty winds, and isolated tornadoes. Floridians are encouraged to use caution when driving, and should never drive through flooded roadways.

As of 3 pm EDT

  • Severe Weather Potential: A high threat for flash flooding remains for the rest of today. While scattered showers and storms will persist throughout the day, the areas of heaviest rain will slowly shift east, but persisting across much of the Big Bend and Suwannee River Valley through tonight.
  • Flash Flood Warning: All or portions of Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Jackson, Okaloosa, Walton, Washington counties.
  • Flash Flood Watch: Portions of Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Franklin, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Walton, Washington, Wakulla counties.
  • Flash Flood Emergency until 3 pm EDT in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa counties.
  • River Flood Warning: Apalachicola, Shoal, St. Marks, Aucilla, Suwannee, Chipola, Choctawhatchee, Big Coldwater Creek, Blackwater, Escambia, Santa Fe rivers.
  • High risk of rip currents: High rip current risk remains in effect through this evening for the beaches of the Big Bend and Panhandle. Rip currents can be life threatening to anyone entering the water. Be sure to check beach warning flags before swimming.

Florida Summary:

  • Florida's State Emergency Operations Center has partially activated to in response to flooding in the Florida Panhandle.
  • It remains important for Floridians to stay cognizant of the developing weather situation and take necessary preparedness and safety actions. Tips are available at www.FloridaDisaster.org.
  • Shelters are open in four counties Bay, Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa. Visit http://floridadisaster.org/shelters/summary.htm for details.
  • Schools are closed in nine counties - Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gulf, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington.
  • State road and bridge closures: Bay, Escambia, Holmes Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, Washington counties. Visit to www.dot.state.fl.us and FL511.com for more information.
  • Government closures: Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

For local details, contact your county emergency management agency.

State Emergency Response Team Update On Florida Panhandle Flooding Event

04/30/14 - State Officials Urge Residents To Exercise Caution During And After Severe Weather And Flooding

~Heed instructions from local emergency management officials and stay tuned to local media~

Severe Weather imageThe State Emergency Response Team (SERT) encourages Floridians to use caution around flooding and standing water resulting from the heavy rains in the Florida Panhandle. Floridians should continue to take precautions to ensure safety during and after severe weather, and to protect life then property. Heed all instructions from local emergency management officials and always dial 911 during an emergency.

“We urge residents and visitors in affected areas to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from potential health risks presented by floodwaters,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “As the SERT continues to respond to the impacts of this rain event, safety is our first and foremost concern, and Florida’s residents and visitors should continue to heed instructions from local emergency management officials.”

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

State Officials Urge Residents To Exercise Caution During And After Severe Weather And Flooding

04/30/14 - State Emergency Response Center Activates To Level Two In Response To Severe Weather And Flooding

Severe Weather imageThe State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee activated to Level Two in response to the severe weather and flooding in the Florida Panhandle. The State Emergency Response Team will continue to monitor the situation, and provide support to counties impacted by the storm.

"It is imperative that those individuals in the path of this storm system monitor the emerging situation and follow all instructions from local officials," said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "All Floridians should stay alert to possible impacts of this storm system. Do not drive into flood water."

The State Emergency Operations Center activated to a Level 2 at 12:30am EDT, and remains in communication with the impacted counties.

For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.

State Emergency Response Center Activates To Level Two In Response To Severe Weather And Flooding

04/28/14 - Florida Residents And Visitors Urged To Use Caution As Severe Weather System Enters The State

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge those across north Florida to be prepared for severe weather as a storm system enters the region late Monday and lingers through Wednesday night.  Frequent lightning strikes, high wind gusts, hail, tornadoes and flash flooding are possible.  Rainfall totaling up to 6 inches is forecast, and a Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the Florida Panhandle and western Big Bend until Wednesday.

“The same system that produced severe weather in Arkansas will bring an increased risk for strong storms in north Florida,” said FDEM State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Local river levels are already elevated, so the potential for flooding is likely to increase. Motorists should be especially cautious during thunderstorms, and avoid driving through standing water or flooded roadways.”

Florida Residents And Visitors Urged To Use Caution As Severe Weather System Enters The State

04/17/14 - Floridians Urged To Be Alert For Severe Weather And Potential Flooding

~Elevated River Water Levels from Recent Rainfall Brings Increased Flood Risk ~

rain imageThe Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges Florida residents and visitors to use caution as a storm system moves across the state on Friday bringing significant rainfall and flood risks to North Florida.

Two to five inches of rain is forecast through Saturday morning from Tampa northward. A Flood Watch is in effect for the Florida Panhandle, Big Bend and northeast Florida.  River Flood Warnings have been issued for 11 of Florida’s rivers.  Gusty winds and hail are also possible.

“It is important for everyone to use caution and practice flood safety as additional rainfall impacts already saturated areas,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Monitor local media and follow all instructions from local officials. If you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and do not drown.”

Floridians Urged To Be Alert For Severe Weather And Potential Flooding

04/14/14 - Severe Weather To Impact Panhandle, Big Bend Through Tuesday

~Lightning Strikes, Strong Winds, Possible Tornadoes, and Isolated Flooding Anticipated~

Severe weather imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials are urging residents and visitors across north Florida to stay alert as a storm system enters the region tonight. This storm system may produce lightning strikes, high wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes. A flash flood watch is in effect across the Panhandle from Escambia to Leon counties until 12 PM Tuesday.

“A squall line of thunderstorms will move into the western Panhandle this evening, bringing with it a strong possibility of severe weather and rainfall totals that could exceed two inches in some areas,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “These storms will move into the Big Bend area during the morning hours, and although the storms are expected to be weaker, they still carry the risk of isolated severe weather.”

Severe Weather To Impact Panhandle, Big Bend Through Tuesday

04/-7/14 - Severe Weather To Impact North Florida Through Tuesday

~Expect Periods of Heavy Rain, Strong Winds, and Tornado Watches ~

Severe weather image Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials are urging residents and visitors across North Florida to stay alert as a storm system moves through the region today. This storm system could produce heavy rain, lightning strikes, high wind gusts, and also carries the possibility of isolated tornadoes. The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch that is in effect until 4 PM EDT and a Flash Flood Watch until 8 PM EDT today.

"The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of North Florida in a slight risk area for severe storms," said Deputy State Meteorologist Tiffany Hersey. "This storm system could produce heavy rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches or higher within a 12-24 hour period, increasing the potential for flooding of urban roadways and low-lying areas, and strong storms today could also produce damaging winds."

Severe Weather To Impact North Florida Through Tuesday

04/02/14 - Bryan W. Koon To Testify Before United States House Transportation And Infrastructure Subcommittee

~Remarks Centered on Benefits of Disaster Mitigation~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon will testify tomorrow before members of the United States Congress during a hearing of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management subcommittee.

Director Koon, who also serves as vice-president of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), will testify on behalf of the organization to present the emergency management community's perspective on how disaster mitigation reduces the impact of a disaster. Director Koon will also address some of the mitigation efforts that the state of Florida has enacted particularly in the areas affected by changes to the National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP).

"We can never completely eliminate the hazards posed by events such as hurricanes and flooding," said Koon. "Proper mitigation strategies prepare communities for these types of disasters and have proven to reduce the financial damage caused by them."

Bryan W. Koon To Testify Before United States House Transportation And Infrastructure Subcommittee

03/28/14 - Severe Weather To Impact North Florida Through Saturday

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge residents and visitors to be aware and use caution this weekend as severe weather moves across North Florida. Those in affected areas should take the necessary steps to prepare family and property for possible impacts. Initial rainfall totals are expected to be 2 to 4 inches with heavier amounts in isolated areas.

"The primary threat associated with this system will come from winds," says FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "Flooding is possible, especially in poorly draining areas already saturated by recent heavy rainfall."

A moderate to high risk of rip currents is anticipated through Sunday along the Panhandle from Escambia through Franklin Counties, as well as along the Atlantic coast from Nassau through Miami-Dade Counties.

Floridians can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov

Severe Weather To Impact North Florida Through Saturday

03/03/14 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Announces 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA Contest Winners

SWAW logo

~Winning Submissions to be Aired During Statewide Media Campaign~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), in conjunction with their partners, announce the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week (SWAW) Video Public Service Announcement contest winners.

“The 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week PSA contest finalists showed creativity and innovation in their messages encouraging Floridians to prepare for all hazards,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I’d like to congratulate this year’s winners, and I encourage everyone to check their emergency plan and disaster supply kit to ensure readiness year-round.”

The winning high school and middle school entries will have their videos professionally reproduced and aired throughout the state as part of FDEM’s 2014 Media Campaign.

Video PSA Contest Winners

High School Entries:
1st Place Hurricane PSA
Brooke Callendar, Chason Scruggs, Reese Frazier, Trevino Williams
Florida State University School,
Tallahassee, Fla.
2nd Place Ocean Weather Safety
Cameron Tuech, Tate Hawver
Winter Park High School, Winter Park, Fla.
3rd Place Get A Plan
Ivonne Rodriguez, Katia Weloff, Kristel Bustinza, Peter Barraclough
Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High, North Miami, Fla.

Middle School Entries:

1st Place Safety Kits
Emma McPhilamy, Skyler Negron
Oak Grove Middle School, Clearwater, Fla.
2nd Place Breaking News: There's a Hurricane
 
Christina Smith, Karrington Copeland, Kishon Sifford, Navon Mickens
Mattie V Rutherford Alternative Middle School, Jacksonville, Fla.
3rd Place Flood Warning
Daniel Owen, Andrew Nguyen
DeLaura Middle School, Satellite Beach, Fla.
   

FDEM would like to thank the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week partners for their continued support: Florida Association of Broadcasters, Florida Power and Light, AT&T, Florida Gators IMG Sports Network, Florida State Seminoles IMG Sports Network, Servepro, American Red Cross, Florida Department of Education, National Weather Service, and Volunteer Florida.

FDEM Announces 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA Contest Winners

01/29/14 - Governor Scott's "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" Commits $243 Million To Protect Floridians From Disasters

~Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Emergency Management Accreditation Program Top Priorities~

It's Your Money TaxCut BudgetGovernor Scott announced today that the Florida Division of Emergency Management's (FDEM) budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2014-2015 will include the continuance of the Division's recurring funding and a focus on both the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Emergency Management Accreditation Program.

“Florida is recognized as a leader in the field of emergency management,” said FDEM Director Bryan Koon. “Governor Scott’s funding allows the Division to maintain its commitment to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate against natural and man-made disasters.”

Governor Scott's "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" Commits $243 Million To Protect Floridians From Disasters

02/18/14 - 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster Contest Winners Announced

SWAW logo

~Online voting for Video PSA Contest through February 28~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced the winners of the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week poster contest today. Winners will be honored at a series of events during the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week, February 24-28.

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is a wonderful opportunity to share the importance of preparedness with young Floridians,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “We had the privilege to select the poster contest winners from over 700 creative entries, and I’d like to thank every student, parent and educator who helped make that possible. With your support, we can ensure all Floridians are prepared for disasters.”

Winners for the elementary school poster contest were selected from each of the FDEM regions where posters were submitted. Poster contest winners will be honored during events at their schools from February 24-28, as a part of Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Poster Contest Winners:

Saiabhinav Devulapalli
Florida State University School, Tallahassee, FL

Jake Brown
PVPV Rawlings Elementary School, Ponte Vedra, FL

Aleish Ramirez Ortiz
Ridgeview Global Studies Academy, Davenport, FL

Veronia Sadek
Cypress Creek Elementary School, Port Orange, FL

Jake Ellis
Gulf Elementary School, Cape Coral, FL

Grace Ramierez
Spanish Lakes Elementary School, Miami, FL


2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Poster Contest Winners Announced

02/07/14 - 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA Finalists Announced

SWAW logo

~Online voting for Video PSA Contest through February 28~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announces the finalists for the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA Contest. Three finalists were selected for middle school and high school divisions.

“Severe weather can occur at anytime in Florida. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an opportunity for the Division to remind Floridians to be prepared,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I want to thank every student who submitted entries to this year’s contest. I look forward to seeing the winners as selected by the public.”

FDEM is encouraging the public to play a role in this year’s 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA contest. Through February 28, Floridians will be able to vote for their favorite video PSA. To vote, go to the Kids Get A Plan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan. The six finalist videos are available under the “video” section. Floridians can vote for their favorite by “liking” the video on the page.

2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA Finalists Announced

02/12/14 - Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Across The Florida Peninsula Today And Tonight

~ Gusty Winds, Isolated Tornadoes, Flooding and Rip Currents Among Potential Hazards~

Severe Weather imageFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials are urging residents and visitors in the Florida Peninsula to stay alert as a storm system moves through the region today. This storm system will remain through Thursday morning, and could produce heavy rain, lightning strikes, high wind gusts, and carries the possibility of isolated tornadoes. The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch that is in effect until 11 PM EST.

“The same storm system bringing winter weather conditions to Georgia and the Carolinas may bring severe weather to portions of Florida,” said Amy Godsey, FDEM State Meteorologist. “The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Central and South Florida in a slight risk area for severe storms,” said Godsey.

This storm system could produce heavy rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches or higher within a 12-24 hour period, increasing the potential for flooding of urban roadways and low-lying areas.

Residents and visitors to the state should monitor local media and their NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio and should be prepared to act if weather watches and warnings are issued. Receiving one alert of an oncoming tornado or severe weather outbreak especially overnight can save lives. 

Storm System Brings Potential For Severe Weather Across The Florida Peninsula Today And Tonight

02/03/14 - Small Business Administration Grants Disaster Assistance To Palm Beach County Area Residents

~ Palm Beach, Broward, Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee County Residents Eligible for SBA Loans~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced today that Florida residents and businesses affected by the storm system that destroyed personal property and businesses on Jan. 9 - 10 can now apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Acting Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Rick Scott on Jan. 28, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.  The declaration covers Palm Beach County and the adjacent counties of Broward, Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee.

“The SBA declaration and subsequent low-interest loans will be a tremendous benefit to the people affected as they move forward to repair and replace the damage caused by this storm,” said FDEM Director, Bryan W. Koon.

The Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) is located in the following community and is open as indicated:

Palm Beach County
Hagen Ranch Road Branch Library
14350 Hagen Ranch Road
Delray Beach, Florida  33446

Opens:   Wednesday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m.
Hours:    Wednesday, Feb. 5 through Thursday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closed Sunday)
Closing: Thursday, Feb. 13, at close of business   

SBA's customer service representatives are available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center (DLOC) to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

Small Business Administration Grants Disaster Assistance To Palm Beach County Area Residents

02/06/14 - Readiness Drill To Be Held At Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant

~ Mock Scenario Will Test Integrated Preparedness and Response Capabilities~  

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials announced today they will conduct a Radiological Emergency Preparedness (REP) drill at the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo, Fla. on Friday, February 7, 2014 from 8 am to 4:30 pm EST.

This is a scheduled practice drill not an actual real-world event.  No protective actions are required by the general public.

Preparations for the exercise will begin Thursday, February, 6, with activity continuing through the conclusion of the practice event on Friday, February 7. 

Readiness Drill To Be Held At Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant

12/03/13 - Severe Weather Awareness Week 2014 Contests Announced

SWAW logo

~Florida's Severe Weather Awareness Week will be February 24-28, 2014~

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will host the 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week, February 24 through February 28. The Division’s annual public education campaign provides an opportunity for teachers to discuss severe weather with students and families. The Severe Weather Awareness Week events include a poster contest for Florida’s elementary school students and a video public service announcement (PSA) contest for Florida’s middle and high school students.

 “We are excited to once again host the Severe Weather Awareness Week contest, and look forward to the creative entries we receive,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “This week of events is an important tool to bring awareness about the severe weather and hazards Floridians may face and help to strengthen the culture of preparedness in our communities.”

Severe Weather Awareness Week 2014 Contests Announced

01/29/14 - Floridians Urged To Exercise Caution As Winter Storm Warnings Are Issued Through Wednesday

~ Driving Conditions Could Become Hazardous on Overpasses, Bridges and Rural Roads ~

cold weather iimageFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge residents and visitors in the Panhandle and Big Bend region of northern Florida to remain vigilant and use caution on area roadways as a storm system impacts the area through Wednesday, leading to the possibility of freezing rain, sleet or snow across portions of the area.

“A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet may impact much of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend Tuesday night into Wednesday morning,” said FDEM Director, Bryan Koon.  “Travel on overpasses, bridges and rural roads may become hazardous and we encourage drivers to practice safe driving habits.”

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning for Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon. A Winter Storm Warning means that there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.  Those travelling are encouraged to check their local forecasts and plan accordingly.

Floridians Urged To Exercise Caution As Winter Storm Warnings Are Issued Through Wednesday

01/23/14 - Arctic Air Mass Brings Cold Temperatures To State

~ Floridians Urged to Practice Cold Weather and Fire Safety~

cold weather iimageFlorida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials are urging residents and visitors throughout Florida to practice fire and cold weather safety as a strong arctic air mass brings freezing temperatures, and cold wind chills to the state through Saturday.  Dry and breezy conditions also increase the wildfire risk through the weekend.

Overnight temperatures could fall to the lower 20s across portions of North Florida, with temperatures near the freezing mark extending as far south as Lake Okeechobee by Thursday morning. Wind chills could reach the teens across North Florida and in the 30s across much of Central and South Florida on Friday.

“Without adequate shelter or heating, the duration of these cold temperatures will present a danger to pipes, pets, plants and persons,” said State Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “We encourage all Floridians to practice cold weather safety, and to protect themselves and their property from risks posed by portable heating sources, and open burning.”

Arctic Air Mass Brings Cold Temperatures To State

 

 

 

Updated:
October 30, 2014 13:48


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