2013 News Archive
The articles below are archived from the main page of www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp.
04/29/13 - Risk Of Rip Currents Elevated Along Florida Atlantic Coast
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind beachgoers to use caution as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along Florida Atlantic Coast beaches through the middle of this week. A high risk of rip currents is expected through tomorrow along the Florida East Coast, from Volusia County south through Miami-Dade County. Remaining beaches along the Northeast Florida coastline from Nassau County through Flagler County, as well as portions of the western Panhandle from Escambia through Okaloosa County, will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Ocean swells combined with tidal effects will generate an elevated risk of rip currents on the state’s east coast beaches early this week,” said FDEM Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “It is important to swim within sight of a lifeguard and heed all directions from beach warning flags when at the beach, and to know what you should do if you are caught in a rip current.”
04/24/13 - Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents Along Some Florida Beaches
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution at the beach this week, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the Florida Panhandle and East Central Florida beaches through the end of the week. A high risk of rip currents is expected today in the Panhandle from Escambia through Okaloosa County, as well as along the Atlantic coast from Volusia through Martin County. Remaining portions of the Florida East Coast will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Strong onshore winds and waves will generate an elevated risk of rip currents for many of Florida’s beaches this week,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “When at the beach, it is important to check the beach warning flags before swimming and to swim within sight of a lifeguard. Beachgoers can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.”
04/11/13 - Severe Weather Possible Overnight Across Northwest Florida
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution this evening as a severe weather threat is possible for the Panhandle of Florida. Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in your home of office to receive warnings from the National Weather and follow all instructions from local officials.
“Although scattered showers and storms will be possible this afternoon, the severe weather threat will occur mainly after sundown,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “It is important to monitor your NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio for the latest severe weather information, and know what you would do if a watch or warning is issued for your area.”
04/10/13 - Wildfire Awareness Week In Florida Is April 8-12, 2013
In recognition of April 8-12, 2013 as Wildfire Awareness Week in the State of Florida, the Florida Division of Emergency Management encourages all Floridians to take the opportunity to update wildfire emergency plans and learn how best to protect themselves and their property from the danger of wildfires.
“Wildfires can occur year round in Florida,” said Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan W. Koon. “Have a current emergency plan and be proactive in your efforts to keep your home and family safe during a fire emergency by taking necessary precautions.”
Typically, Florida experiences more than 4,600 wildfires, burning nearly 110,000 acres of land a year. This year, Florida has faced over 1,000 wildfires on 20,430 acres. The three leading causes of wildfires are arson, uncontrolled yard debris or trash fires, and lightning.
03/25/13 - Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents Along Florida Panhandle And Gulf Coast Beaches
~All beachgoers should check beach warning flags
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to use caution at the beach this week, as an elevated risk of rip currents is expected along the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast through Wednesday. A high risk of rip currents is expected in Walton and Bay counties today, as well as along the Sun Coast from Pinellas to Collier County. Remaining portions of the Florida Gulf Coast will see a moderate risk of rip currents.
“Strong winds over the Gulf of Mexico will generate an elevated risk of rip currents for the Florida Gulf Coast,” said FDEM Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “It is important for all beachgoers to check the beach warning flags before swimming and to swim within sight of a lifeguard. Floridians can check their local rip current outlook at www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov.”
03/22/13 - Severe Weather Possible for Northwest Florida This Weekend
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) urges residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution this weekend as a low pressure system is forecast to bring severe weather across Northwest Florida and the Suwannee River Valley on Saturday. Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio in your home of office to receive warnings from the National Weather and follow all instructions from local officials.
"The timing of the severe weather will be two-fold as this low pressure system causes a warm front to lift through the Panhandle and Big Bend on Saturday afternoon or early evening before a cold front sweeps through the area late Saturday night and Sunday morning," said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. "Be sure to pay close attention to the forecasts for your area and visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for more information on how to stay safe during severe weather."
03/10/13 - GET A PLAN! During National Flood Safety Awareness Week
~FDEM encourages Floridians
to understand flood safety and preparedness~
National Flood Safety Awareness Week is March 18 – 22 and the Florida Division of Emergency Management encourages residents and visitors to take time this week to learn about flood safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) have joined together in an effort to inform citizens about flood risk and the potential impact it has on people and property.
“Last year, many Floridians across the state experienced the affects of flooding, during Tropical Storms Beryl and Debby, Hurricane Isaac and other isolated weather events,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Floridians should take this opportunity to understand the impacts flooding can have and learn how they can protect their families and businesses by reviewing their flood risks and taking necessary steps to be better prepared.”
03/09/13 - FDEM Announces 2013 SWAW Video PSA Contest Winners
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), in conjunction with National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, announces the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) Middle and High School Contest winners.
FDEM and partners would like to congratulate the high school winner Justin Burt of Lawton Chiles High School in Tallahassee, FL, and the wining middle school team of Aolani Brown, Danielle Charboneau, Reanne DeGraff and Amilah Eoonous of Liberty Middle School in Ocala, FL. Students from across the state submitted entries in this year's contest, and the public voted for their favorites from among the finalists.
"I would like to congratulate each of the finalists for their entries to this year's contest. For their efforts to help Floridians prepare for severe weather, each finalist will receive a scholarship provided through Volunteer Florida to help prepare for their future education," said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. "During National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, all Floridians should remember to remain aware of severe weather throughout the year to be sure our families and communities are prepared."
To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/20/13 - FDEM Announces First-Ever Online Voting In Video PSA Contest For 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week
~Vote online via Kids Get A Plan Facebook Page through March 1~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) encourages Floridians to vote in the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. Six finalists were selected from more than thirty video entries submitted by middle and high school students from around the state.
Voting continues through March 1 on the Kids Get A Plan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan. The winner from the middle school and high school will be announced during National Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 4 – 8, 2013.
To learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/25/13 - Safety Is Vital As Risk Of Flooding Increases In North Florida
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) reminds Florida’s residents and visitors to use caution this week as storms continue to bring significant rainfall and flood risks to North Florida and the Panhandle. Another one to three inches of rain is forecast to occur through Tuesday afternoon. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the Florida Panhandle and the Big Bend, and River Flood Warnings have been issued for 11 Florida rivers. A possibility of severe storms in North and Central Florida may also bring gusty winds and isolated tornadoes through Tuesday.
“It is important for Floridians to use caution and practice flood safety as additional rainfall impacts already saturated areas,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I urge all Floridians to continue to monitor local media and follow all instructions from local officials. If you encounter a flooded roadway it is important to remember to Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”
Due to existing elevated river water levels and additional runoff from recent rainfall, several rivers in Northwest Florida are forecast to rise above flood stage and crest later this week. River Flood Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for the Apalachicola, Big Coldwater Creek, Blackwater, Chipola, Choctawhatchee, Escambia, Ochlocknee, Perdido, Shoal, Styx, and Yellow rivers, impacting Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties.
02/21/13 - Storm Systems May Bring Significant Rainfall To Florida Panhandle
~Potential for Flash Floods and River Flooding of largest concern for Floridians~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials urge Florida’s residents and visitors to remain aware this weekend and into next week, as two storm systems bring the potential for significant rainfall and flood risks to the Florida Panhandle. Some areas may see up to four inches of rainfall through Tuesday, with locally heavier amounts of up to eight inches possible. The National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Washington, Bay, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties through Saturday.
“Two storm systems moving across the Southeast will bring heavy amounts of rainfall and widespread potential for flooding in the Florida Panhandle,” said FDEM Meteorologist Brad Schaaf. “Floridians should monitor these systems closely and take necessary precautions should a flood watch or warning be issued for their area. If you encounter a flooded roadway it is important to remember, Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”In addition, river flooding is a concern for the Florida Panhandle. The Choctawhatchee River near Bruce and the Escambia River near Century are currently in minor flood stage. The Chipola River near Marianna and Altha and the Apalachicola River near Blounstown may also see elevated flooding potential with this system. Along with heavy rainfall, the storm systems bring a risk of severe thunderstorms and damaging wind gusts, and the Storm Prediction Center has placed a portion of the Florida Panhandle under a slight risk for severe storms for Friday.
02/04/13 - 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Winners Announced
~Online voting for Video PSA Contest through March 1st~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announces the winners of the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week poster contest and the finalists in the Video Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest. More than 1,000 students from across Florida participated in the Severe Weather Awareness Week Contests.
“The Severe Weather Awareness Week contests are an opportunity for young people from around the state to learn what they can do to be prepared for hazards that affect their communities and to build a culture of preparedness in Florida,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “I want to thank each student who submitted an entry to this year’s contests, and congratulate each winner and finalist.”
Winners for the elementary school poster contest were selected from each of the seven regions for FDEM. Poster contest winners will be honored at an event in their school during the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week, February 11 - 15.
FDEM is encouraging the public to play a role in this year's 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Video PSA contest. For the month of February, Floridians will have a chance to vote on their favorite video PSA from among the finalists listed. To vote visit the Kids Get A Plan Facebook page, www.facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.
To view the list of poster contest winners and video finalists, visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/SWAW/
02/13/13 - Florida Statewide Tornado Drill Postponed To Friday, February 15
Florida's statewide tornado drill has been rescheduled to take place on Friday, February 15, 2013, at 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time due to the chance of severe weather in North Florida on Wednesday. Floridians are reminded to monitor local weather conditions and heed all instructions from local officials.
School districts, private schools, preschools and daycare centers are urged to participate in the drill. The simulated tornado warning will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and will be encoded as a weekly test for this drill. All procedures for the drill remain the same. For more information, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/SWAW.
02/11/13 - FDEM's 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week Tour Begins
~Seven poster contest winners to be recognized in five day tour~
Governor Rick Scott proclaimed February 11-15 as 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) will celebrate 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week with a five-day, seven city tour to recognize each of the seven poster contest winners and raise awareness about emergency preparedness in Florida. The goal of the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign is to promote preparedness for all types of hazards to Florida’s citizens and communities.
“We are excited to bring Severe Weather Awareness Week to each region of the state as we work towards building a culture of preparedness in Florida through our students,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “As we visit each school, we hope to reach beyond their doors and into the communities to ensure all of Florida’s families and businesses are prepared for severe weather that can impact Florida any time of year.”
Games, prizes and special guests will highlight the importance of severe weather awareness in Florida as students learn how to recognize and be prepared for potential disasters that may impact them and their families. FDEM kicked off Severe Weather Awareness Week last week at the Florida State Fair in Tampa with Professor Nibmus Tinkermesiter of Kids Get a Plan and FDEM staff to spread the word about disaster preparedness and this week’s events.
02/08/13 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management Completes Operation Radar II
~Exercise tests communications interoperability between local, state and federal partners~
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) today completed Operation Radar II, an interoperable communications exercise among local, state, federal, nongovernmental and private emergency response partners. This exercise took place at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, FL, from Monday, February 4, through Friday, February 8. Approximately 500 individuals from around the nation participated, comprising 109 teams, from 52 different locations.“Interoperable communications is a critical element to ensure a smooth response and recovery from disasters of every level so that emergency responders can communicate essential information,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “Operation Radar provided an opportunity for participants to not only test equipment, but also use and vet regional and state interoperable communications plans.”
01/31/13 - Governor Scott's Florida Families First Budget Funds $254 Million In Florida Division Of Emergency Management
~Local merit funding tops emergency management budget priorities~
Governor Scott’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget fully funds the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s (FDEM) priorities for financial assistance to state and local governments for public awareness, outreach programs, floods and disaster mitigation programs.
The Governor’s recommendation for FDEM’s budget is $254 million, of which $16 million is General Revenue. FDEM’s budget includes an increase over current year by $28 million. The increase is directly proportionate to the projected costs of Tropical Storm Debby that hit Florida in 2012. The budget funds the following:
- $188.9M Federally Declared Disasters, $16 million is General Revenue
- $4M Repetitive Flood Claims the Severe Repetitive Loss Program
- $7.2M Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program
- $6M Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
- $14.8M Emergency Management Performance Grant
- $3M Hurricane Shelter Retrofits
01/29/13 - Weekly Report
01/29/13 - Storm System Brings Elevated Risk Of Rip Currents, Chance Of Severe Weather
~Beachgoers and boaters should use caution and remain aware of weather conditions~
Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) officials remind residents and visitors to stay alert and use caution as a cold front approaching the state will bring a risk of severe weather to North Florida and an elevated risk of rip currents along many of Florida’s beaches this week. The Storm Prediction Center has placed most areas of the Panhandle and the Big Bend under a Slight Risk of severe weather on Wednesday.
Increasing onshore winds along Florida’s southeast coast will generate a high rip current risk from Palm Beach County through Miami-Dade County and a moderate risk from Volusia County through Martin County today. Winds will continue to shift and strengthen ahead of the cold front and these conditions will bring rough surf and a high rip current risk to the beaches of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. By Thursday, winds will continue to shift and the rip current risk will likely elevate along both the Peninsula Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast through the end of the week.“A squall line expected to develop ahead of the cold front will have the potential to bring severe weather and an elevated risk of rip currents to areas of the Panhandle and North Florida,” said FDEM Deputy State Meteorologist Michelle Palmer. “All Floridians should monitor weather conditions and know what to do in the event of a watch or warning for their area, and beachgoers should be sure to check the beach warning flags before swimming.”
11/28/12 - Florida Division Of Emergency Management And American Red Cross Announce 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Chapters of the American Red Cross announce the 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week. This annual public awareness campaign provides an opportunity for teachers to educate students on the importance of being prepared in the event of severe weather. The 2013 Severe Weather Awareness Week in Florida will be Monday, February 11, through Friday, February 15, 2013.
"In the 13th year of the program, the Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week is a reminder of the importance of preparedness year-round for all Floridians,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The partnership between the Division and the American Red Cross Chapters throughout Florida is the perfect opportunity to promote a culture of preparedness across Florida. When you educate students on preparedness they get excited and share with their families and they grow up to be prepared.”
Severe Weather Awareness Week includes a poster contest for Florida’s elementary school students and a video public service announcement (PSA) contest for Florida’s middle and high school students. This year, the poster contest will include seven winners selected from across the state. One winner each from middle and high school will be selected for the video PSA contest.
“We are delighted to have a continuing partnership with the Division of Emergency Management on the annual poster contest,” said Katie Sherk, of the American Red Cross. “It’s an inspiring outreach effort that is especially rewarding when we receive the student’s entries. It really does get our youth engaged in disaster preparedness in a way that is helping to build a culture of preparedness in Florida.”
01/01/13 - Weekly Report
May 3, 2013 15:53