Public Information Network
Hurricane season preparedness
Hurricane season begins June 1
With many days of rainfall in May and Alberto, a pre-season subtropical storm, forming May 25 in the Northwestern Caribbean Sea, residents are encouraged to make sure they are prepared for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane. Last year Volusia County experienced its second hurricane in less than a year when Hurricane Irma struck Sept. 10. More than 4,800 homes, businesses and government facilities were impacted at a time when many people were still recovering from Hurricane Matthew.
Residents are encouraged to:
- Download Volusia County’s emergency preparedness app. The app includes weather alerts and current conditions, preparedness checklists, links to county sites, shelter status, locations of the nearest open shelter and sandbags, evacuation information, push notifications and more. The app also aids in the damage assessment process as residents can submit damage reports along with picture documentation. The app is available for download in the Google Play store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ocv.volusiacountyema&hl=en and the App Store at https://appsto.re/us/MBOYib.i
- Create a family preparedness plan, which the app can help you do as it has a checklist of items you’ll need during an emergency. For help creating a personalized family disaster plan, visit www.floridadisaster.org.
- Decide now where you will stay if an evacuation order is issued during a hurricane. Arrange to stay with friends or relatives who live well inland if possible. You will be more comfortable there than in a shelter. For those who have no alternatives, Volusia County will set up hurricane shelters at key locations across the county. Again, these shelter locations will be viewable from the emergency preparedness app when they are opened.
Consider purchasing flood insurance, which is typically not covered under a homeowners insurance policy. According to officials, it takes 30 days after purchase for a flood insurance policy to take effect. Also, if a hurricane is within 500 miles of Florida, flood insurance policies will not be written. To learn about flood insurance, www.visit floodsmart.gov. The website can help you rate your risk, estimate premiums and find an agent.
For more information about disaster preparedness, visit www.volusia.org/emergency or call Volusia County Emergency Management at 386-254-1500. Residents should also follow Volusia County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Volusia/Flagler PIN
The Volusia/Flagler Public Information Network (PIN) works to ensure that public information officers (PIOs) will collaborate and coordinate public information before, during and after disasters affecting a widespread area in the two-county region. The PIOs represent a wide range of agencies including city and county governments, the court system, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, hospitals, public schools, colleges and universities, the tourism industry, and nonprofit agencies.
The PIN's operating principle is that public information resources are available to support an incident's lead agency and incident commander regardless of agency boundaries.
During disasters the PIN issues joint news releases and maintains a website that includes information from all the agencies involved in a response.
The group's Joint Information Center (JIC) plan is compliant with the National Incident Management Systems, thereby creating a Joint Information System (JIS) plan.
The network was established in 2005 after public information officers attended an Advanced PIO Training session at FEMA's education center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Since then, the PIN has been activated during incidents including tornadoes, flooding and wildfires.