During the 2017 Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday June 2 through June 4, stock up on qualifying disaster preparedness supplies exempt from sales tax. For more information and a list of qualifying items, visit www.floridarevenue.com.
Road Updates and Closures
*June 21, 2017*
The Florida Department of Transportation has advised that both lanes of St. Mary's Road, at the overpass, are now open.
*June 1, 2017*
Washington County Public Works has advised that Buddy Road is closed, from Duncan Community Road to Peel Road. The road is open to local traffic only, as the bridge has been condemned.
Please contact Washington County Public Works at 850-638-6280 with any questions regarding this road closure.
Construction activities are set to begin the week of February 27
on State Road 77 in Washington County.
Crews will mill and resurface the travel lanes from Interstate 10 to
5th Street, construct five-foot bicycle lanes and sidewalk from
Blue Lake Park to 5th Street, perform safety upgrades, and place
new signs and pavement markings along the project.
Motorists can expect intermittent and alternating lane
closures from 7 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. The 1.8-mile resurfacing project
is anticipated to be complete summer 2017.
Drivers are reminded to use caution, especially at night,
when traveling through the construction zone, and to
pay attention for workers and equipment entering and exiting the work area.
All activities are weather dependent and may be delayed
or rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.
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.
April 3, 2017
Contact: Lynne Abel, Public Safety Director or Connie Welch, Emergency Management Coordinator at 850-638-6203
Please join Washington County Emergency Management in Preparing for Hurricane Season
Washington County, Florida - With the start of hurricane season approaching on June 1, Washington County Emergency Management is proud to promote hurricane preparedness in Washington County. Washington County Emergency Management is committed to ensure residents know their risks, get prepared, and stay informed.
Each year, we witness the devastating impacts that hurricanes can cause. Hurricanes are not just a threat to coastal communities. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property. As Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac reminded us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to prepare for, but all hurricanes have the ability to cause significant damage.
We are committed to ensuring the safety of Washington County and we’re calling on you to prepare with us. Knowing your risks, getting prepared, and staying informed are just a few steps you can take to get ready for hurricane season.
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)
·Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
The National Weather Service in Tallahassee will modify 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.
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 each local emergency management agency in the state, developed a registry to allow residents with special needs to register with their local emergency management agency to receive assistance during a disaster. The statewide registry provides first responders with valuable information to prepare for disasters or other emergencies.