Severe weather hazards and their potential threats can affect all of us as Florida residents. Everyone should have an emergency plan in place, multiple means of receiving alerts, and a supply kit ready to go.
Severe weather can happen anytime. Know your risks and have a plan.
Create a Plan
Severe weather hazards and their potential threats can affect all of us as Florida residents. Everyone should have an emergency plan in place, multiple means of receiving alerts, and a supply kit ready to go. The first step to creating a family disaster plan is to hold a family meeting to discuss the dangers of hurricanes and other emergencies, such as fires and other severe weather.
A well-thought-out plan of action for you and your family can go a long way toward reducing potential suffering from any type of disaster that could strike. Household emergency plans should be kept simple. The best emergency plans are those that are easy to remember. Some other tips to include in a family disaster plan include:
Step 1: Plan ahead
Hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding are some of the hazards we face. But do not wait until disaster strikes. Develop a family plan today! Consider the following and learn more at ready.gov:
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
Step 2: Consider your household’s needs
As you prepare, think about your family’s daily life and responsibilities. Discuss these needs with your family and determine how you can assist each other with communication, childcare, business, pets, medical needs, and transportation. Keep in mind these factors when developing your plan:
- Different ages of members within your household
- Responsibilities for assisting others
- Locations frequented
- Dietary needs
- Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
- Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
- Languages spoken
- Cultural and religious considerations
- Pets or service animals
- Households with school-aged children
Step 3: Create a Family Emergency Plan
- Make a Family Emergency Plan quickly and easily with this fillable form.
- Practice your plan with your family
A deadly tornado struck Lake and Volusia Counties in the early morning hours of February 2, 2007. Known as the Groundhog Day tornadoes, a swath of damage was seen from the Town of Lady Lake to New Smyrna Beach - a distance of over 70 miles, with a total of 21 fatalities in Lake County, according to the National Weather Service.
Follow these safety tips for tornado preparation, courtesy of Lake County Emergency Management.
- When storms approach, monitor TV, AM/FM radio and NOAA weather radio broadcasts, register for AlertLake, and monitor Tornado Warnings from Wireless Emergency Alerts for smartphones. Keep a battery-powered radio for emergencies.
- A tornado watch is issued when a severe weather system may spawn tornadoes. It means watch the sky. A tornado warning lasts for one hour or less and it means act right away. A tornado is on the ground or about to be on the ground.
- Have a family disaster plan. Ask about tornado plans in offices, stores or other areas you visit frequently. Learn the locations of interior shelters.
- Remember to practice the plan. Have a place to call and a place to meet.
- Know where to shelter in the house. Store protective materials – such as blankets or sleeping bags – in the shelter.
- In case family members are separated, plan a place to call to let others know you are safe. Plan a place to meet if you are cut off from your neighborhood.
Safety Tips when a Tornado is Spotted
- Get low and stay low. If you can, get inside – away from windows.
- Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle. If you see a tornado, get out of the car. Take shelter in a ditch, ravine or culvert. Be alert to potential flooding.
- Do not seek shelter beneath an overpass. High winds and flying debris are likely to cause injuries.
- Avoid any area with a wide, unsupported roof. That includes auditoriums, cafeterias, gymnasiums, theaters or central courts at malls. Go to interior rooms with no windows.
- Most tornado fatalities result from injuries to the head or neck from flying debris. Protect yourself with thick padding such as blankets or mattresses – or quickly get under a sturdy piece of furniture – a table, bench or church pew.
- If you are in an office, hospital or nursing home, go to the lowest floor. Stay away from windows. Avoid elevators. Shelter in a stairwell, hallway, storage closet or bathroom.
- At school, follow the drill. Take shelter in an inside room, hallway, storage closet or stairwell. Avoid windows or any area with large amounts of glass.
- At home, take shelter in a room without windows on the lowest floor – a bathroom, hallway, closet or stairwell.
- If you are outside and there is no sturdy building nearby, take shelter in a low-lying area. Keep an eye out for flooding.
For hurricanes, families should openly discuss sheltering options. If a hurricane sets its sights on Central Florida:
- Lake County residents should know where they plan to shelter for the duration of the storm.
- Because of the destructive power and torrential rainfall of a hurricane, residents in a manufactured home or low-lying area should never ignore an evacuation order.
- Lake County shelters are storm-hardened facilities. Evacuating residents should think twice about staying in “shelters” that are not designated by the American Red Cross and Emergency Management.
- Another option besides evacuating to a Lake County designated shelter is finding shelter with a friend or relative in a site-built home. While Lake County’s shelters are high on safety, residents may tend to find the comfort level more accommodating in a site-built home of a friend or relative.
- Duke Energy
- Call (800) 228-8485 or visit duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device.
- Text OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply).
- Use the Duke Energy mobile app – Download the Duke Energy App from a smartphone via Apple Store or Google Play
- SECO Storm Center
During the storm, pets can easily get separated from their families. Contact Lady Lake Animal Control at 352-751-1530 if your pet is lost.
Ensuring the timely and safe removal of storm debris and service resumption is a highly coordinated effort. These steps will help ensure a smooth process:
Separate regular household waste from storm debris.
- Everyday items - including food, recyclables and other household waste should be disposed of normally
- Storm debris - including tree limbs, soiled carpeting, damaged fencing and appliances should be placed curbside in separate piles
Separating waste properly will allow WM to collect household garbage more quickly and safely and help prevent odors and other safety hazards from impacting your surrounding area. Separation is also necessary to allow other firms to collect storm debris in accordance with arrangements made by local municipalities, counties or FEMA. WM will restart curbside trash and recycling collection of normal household waste as soon as it is safe to do so.
Visit Waste Management's Notification Center webpage to check for the latest information on storm recovery within your community. To stay up to date on the status of your account, enroll in email or text alerts.