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Washington County, Florida Emergency Management

2300 Pioneer Road Chipley, FL 32428 

Office Hours: Monday- Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

(850) 638-6203


Public Safety Director

Lynne Abel

Emergency Management Coordinator

Connie Welch 




*The City of Chipley Public Works Department will be closing Chestnut Hill Street, from South Boulevard to Harrell Avenue on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm for culvert replacement, weather permitting.

If you have any questions, please call Chipley Public Works at 850-638-6346.




*The Florida Department of Transportation has advised of the following:

Holmes and Alligator Creek Bridge Inspections

Drivers traveling U.S. 90 over Holmes Creek and Alligator Creek in Washington

County will encounter lane restrictions Tuesday, Aug. 22. Lane closures will be in effect from 9

a.m. to 3 p.m. as crews perform a routine inspection.


Routine inspections are one tool the department uses to provide a safe transportation system, an

example of the dedication to making travel in Florida safer and more efficient. Motorists are

reminded to use caution and watch for construction workers and equipment entering and exiting

the work zone.


All activities are weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

For more information visit the Florida Department of Transportation District Three on the web at

www.nwflroads.com, follow us on Twitter @myfdot_nwfl, or like us on Facebook at


















There are three keys to saving your life during a tornado outbreak. We all have a role to play.


GETTING THE WARNING: Every family needs multiple ways of receiving tornado warnings. We do not recommend social media or a text message from a friend who is a weather freak. We encourage you to get a NOAA Weather Radio which provides special broadcasts from the National Weather Service, and sounds a loud alarm when a watch or warning is issued. Additionally, signing up for AlertWashington will provide individualized warnings when severe weather is approaching your specific address. Warnings can be received by text, email, or calls to your mobile and or home phone. To sign up for AlertWashington, simply go online to www.alertwashington.org.


Weather radio receivers are programmable; you can enter one or more counties that will trigger the alarm. It is best to pick the county you live in and the counties just to the southwest. Most models have a battery backup in the event of a power failure, and they tend to be very reliable. Most cost around $30.


KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING: In a site built home, this is a small room, like a closet, hallway, or bathroom, on the lowest floor. This room should have no windows, and it should also be near the center of the house. Every family needs to identify their "safe place", and be sure everyone understands where it is. The idea that you have to be underground to survive a tornado is simply not true. A basement is great if you have one, but you can survive a tornado on the first above ground floor of a site built structure.


A big problem for our area is the high number of manufactured homes. Mobile homes offer affordable housing, but they are the last place you want to be during a tornado. For those in mobile homes, consider going to the nearest site built structure. And, since cars and trucks are also a terribly unsafe place during a tornado, that "safe place" has to be somewhere very close preferably. Sometimes, we can provide tornado warning lead times of 30 minutes or longer, but lead times are generally only 10-15 minutes or less.


Families that live in a manufactured home need a detailed plan; identify the place you are going and know how you are going to get there at any hour of the day or night.


Perhaps there are friends are family in the area that have a safer structure or consider a business that is open 24 hours a day that might offer shelter to you and your family.


HAVE A READINESS KIT: Wherever your safe place happens to be, you need a kit readily available with items that will protect you even more. Consider - helmets for everyone in the family, not just kids; bicycle helmets, batting helmets, or anything similar.


It is also good to have an air horn for everyone in the family to keep with them while sheltering. If you are hit by a tornado, and you are injured, this will alert first responders to your location. Sometimes, during a strong/violent tornado, you can be lofted, landing 100 yards or more away from your original safe place. Upon landing, injuries can take away the ability to verbalize, and an air horn can be a life saver.


Know Your Risks: Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/.


Get Prepared: Take action now to be prepared for hurricane season. Make sure you have family evacuation and communications plans, update your emergency supply kit, and evaluate your flood insurance needs.

·       Know your evacuation route. Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation route so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, don’t hesitate – go early. Public Shelters are “last resort” options and do not offer the comfort or convenience of a hotel or the home of a friend or family member.

·       Complete a family communication plan. Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Talk with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan. This website will help walk you through those steps: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/108887

·       Download the FEMA app. The FEMA App includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and alerts from the National Weather Service.

·       Check your insurance coverage. Many states have increased deductibles for hurricanes and not all hurricane-related losses are covered under traditional policies. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage or losses from flooding. Review your policy, ensure you are adequately covered and understand exclusions, and contact your agent for any changes. If you’re not insured against flood, talk to your agent or visit www.floodsmart.gov. Renter’s insurance policies are also available and should be considered as a way of protecting your belongings.

Stay Informed: Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for alerts from AlertWashington for resident specific notifications that go directly to your phone and email. Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials. Make sure you have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio available should the power go out.


Emergency Supply Kit Supplies List:

·       Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

·       Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

·       Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

·       Flashlight and extra batteries

·       First aid kit

·       Whistle to signal for help

·       Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

·       Moist Towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

·       Personal hygiene items

·       Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

·       Non-Electric can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

·       Local maps

·       Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Additional information is available at www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.washingtonfl.com under the “Department” tab, click on Emergency Management.



Choctawhatchee River Readings: 




Effective Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The National Weather Service in Tallahassee modified the flood stage levels for the Choctawhatchee River at Caryville [US-90] (CARF1) to better reflect impacts from flooding along this portion of the river.


These new flood levels are:


Action Stage                          10 feet (unchanged)

Minor Flood Stage                14 feet (up 2 feet)

Moderate Flood Stage          16 feet (unchanged)

Major Flood Stage                20 feet (down 7 feet)


This location is a routine forecast point, which means forecasts are issued for this location year round by the Southeast River Forecast Center in Peachtree City, Georgia. River flood warnings are issued by the National Weather Service in Tallahassee whenever the river is expected to exceed flood stage.


These updated flood stages were a direct result of analysis of severalsignificant floods in the 1990s,review of Florida Department of Transportation highway elevation data, and feedback from the Washington and Holmes County Emergency Management Agencies. As a result of these adjustments, the 1990, 1994, and 1929 floods will all be classified as major floods. 


Please click below for: 

Storm Tracking Chart

Emergency Supply Shopping List 


Washington County Shelter Locations:

 Chipley High School

1545 Brickyard Road, Chipley


Roulhac Middle School

1535 Brickyard Road, Chipley


Vernon Middle School

3190 Moss Hill Road, Vernon


Vernon High School

3232 Moss Hill Road, Vernon



 Pet Owners

Pets Checklist

If you plan to evacuate but have pets you do not wish to leave behind you may follow this link for pet friendly hotels in our area:  http://www.petswelcome.com/


Special Needs Registry 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management, in coordination with local emergency management agencies, has developed a registry allowing residents with special needs to register to receive assistance during a disaster. The statewide registry provides first responders with valuable information to prepare for disasters or other emergencies. 

To register, click on the following link: https://snr.floridadisaster.org 

or call 850-638-6203


Please Click Below For:

Washington County Local Mitigation Strategy


Helpful Links:

 ALERTWashington:  www.alertwashington.org


Evacuation Routes:  http://www.floridadisaster.org/PublicMapping/


Florida Storm Net:  http://www.floridastormnet.com/

Hazard Mitigation Resource Information:  http://www.washingtonfl.com/planning/HAZARD%20MITIGATION%20RESOURCE%20INFORMATION%20-%202012.pdf

Florida Division of Emergency Management:  http://www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp

American Red Cross:  http://www.redcross.org/

Chipley Florida Weather:  https://weather.com/weather/today/l/32428

National Weather Service Forecast Office:  https://www.srh.noaa.gov/tlh/

The Weather Channel:  https://weather.com/

Weather-Ready Nation:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/

Be a Force of Nature:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/force.html






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