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Disaster Preparedness

As Floridians, we are not strangers to hurricanes and tropical storms and their aftermath. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Do you have a disaster preparedness plan in place? Check out the information below to make sure you and your family are prepared for any storm that hits our community.
Are You Prepared?

Please make sure you have everything you and your family need to stay safe.

  1. Know your home! Click here for steps homeowners can take to minimize hurricane damage. 

  2. Know your evacuation zone! Click here to find yours.

  3. Know what to do before the storm hits! Click here for more information.

  4. Please assemble a survival kit well in advance of an emergency! You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you.


Not sure what to stock up on? Here’s a list of what to put in your storm preparedness kit and a plan for when a storm hits:

  • Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies.

  • Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet - one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.

  • Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.

  • Make a list of important contacts, such as loved ones, local utilities, local hospitals, TV and radio stations, and insurance agents.

  • Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.

  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.

  • Listen to local authorities and evacuate if told to.

  • Don’t forget your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency.  Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days.

Additionally, basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may be cut off for days or even a week, or longer. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during these outages. State officials and experts recommend having food, water and other supplies in sufficient quantities to last for up to 7 days.


Make sure to prepare your home for storm surges and flooding. Sandbag availability may vary, as well locations. Click here for the most current sandbag locations in Flagler and Volusia counties and other important emergency information. Click here for Marion County and click here for Putnam County.


Follow the National Weather Service's (NWS) watches and warnings. You can find more information about these risks on

Follow FLSERT on Twitter and Facebook or online here. Along with your local government social media accounts.

Follow NOAA on Facebook and Twitter

Websites such as provide live traffic updates and safe evacuation routes during storms.

Check out Florida Division of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for important updates and information when preparing for and recovering from a disaster.

Follow @EducationFL on Twitter and check out their website for updates on school closures.

As always, I’ll make sure to keep you updated on the storm as it develops and will share national and local advisories on my social media pages.


Be sure to check out your county’s emergency management center website for up to date information.

Flagler County

Flagler County Emergency Management 
1769 E Moody Blvd, Bunnell, FL 32110
Phone: (386) 313-4200

Putnam County

Putnam County Emergency Management
410 S. State Rd. 19
Palatka, FL 32177
Phone: (386) 329-0380

Marion County

Marion County Emergency Management
692 NW 30th Ave, Ocala, FL 34475
Phone: (352) 369-8100

Volusia County

Volusia County Emergency Management
3825 Tiger Bay Road, Daytona Beach, FL 32127
Phone: (386) 736-2700



If you had storm or flood damage in any of the affected, designated counties you may apply for FEMA assistance online at or by calling 800-621- 3362. Lines are open every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Those who use TTY may call 800-462-7585.

You may locate disaster centers near them at or by calling the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362. You can seek assistance at any disaster recovery center, including centers in other states.


All applicants for federal disaster assistance have the right to appeal a decision. Your appeal can be filed online at or at any disaster recovery center. In order to file an appeal you must bring your determination letter, your written appeal and any supporting documents requested in your determination letter.  

Mold and Cleanup

Mold may be a serious health risk so don’t wait for a visit from FEMA or your insurance company before you start cleaning up. FEMA inspectors and insurance claims adjusters will still be able to verify flood damage. Take lots of pictures before your insurance adjuster visits. Be sure to consult with your local officials for instructions before setting out debris. If you don’t have local emergency management contact information, it can be found online at

FEMA also provides advice on coping with a disaster at

Crisis Cleanup

To request assistance with clean up from disaster relief agencies please visit: or call 1-800-451-1954 


List of and information for currently open general and special needs shelters within the State of Florida go to or contact your local Emergency Management Operations Center 

Senior Citizens

Florida Department of Elder Affairs operates federal and state-run services for senior citizens. You can visit their website at: or by calling the Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337. 

Food Assistance

A statewide food bank database can be found at

Employment Assistance 

For information regarding National Dislocated Worker Grants, visit your local CareerSource Center at The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides assistance to Floridians whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted. To apply, visit or call the hotline at 1-800-385-3920. 

General Health and Welfare

The Florida Department of Health has disaster preparedness and recovery information online at or you can call 850-245-4444. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information for flood preparedness and response at:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be reached by calling: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). 

National Flood Insurance (NFIP) Call Center

Contact your insurance company to file a claim. If you have flood insurance questions call 800-621-3362 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call center staff are available to assist with information regarding your policy, offer technical flood guidance to aid in recovery and answer other flood insurance questions. You can be transferred to your insurance carrier for additional assistance if you have further questions. 

U.S. Postal Service

USPS Service Alerts: