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Hurricane Katrina News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 28, 2005
State Emergency Operations Center - ESF 14 (850) 921-9874
FEMA-Florida Long Term Recovery Office (407) 858-6207

Officials Again Urge Preparedness as Katrina Intensifies in the Gulf for Second Landfall

ORLANDO, Fla. – As Hurricane Katrina, now a category 5 storm, intensifies and heads for the Gulf Coast, the State of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee remains activated. State, local and federal officials continue response efforts in areas affected by Katrina’s first landfall in South Florida, as they urge residents in the Panhandle to prepare for a second landfall. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency supports state and local officials, and stands ready to provide federal assistance should it be required.

"With Katrina closely approaching, our thoughts and prayers are with the residents of our neighboring states during this difficult time," said Governor Jeb Bush. "Florida is readying resources statewide to offer assistance to Louisiana and Mississippi as they prepare to respond to the impacts of this very dangerous hurricane. We also stand ready to aid residents along our state's Gulf Coast as Katrina's impacts are sure to extend miles from its landfall."

"We urge all residents in the Panhandle to ready for Katrina's second landfall and heed local evacuation orders," said Director Craig Fugate of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "Now is the time to activate your family's disaster preparedness plan."

First and foremost, individuals are urged to pay attention to the latest storm information and follow all advisories issued by local emergency management officials.

“We continue to work closely with state and local officials to meet the needs of Floridians, while supporting FEMA’s ongoing efforts to help states in Katrina’s projected path prepare for the worst,” said FEMA’s Long Term Recovery Director Scott R. Morris. “Again, we urge residents to follow developments closely and listen to local officials.”

Following is a list of actions to undertake and supplies to gather before Katrina’s anticipated landfall sometime early Friday.

Before a Hurricane Strikes

  • Plan a safe evacuation route and identify safe shelter space within your area. Those in storm surge zones, in flood zones, or in less than standard housing should be especially vigilant in preparing disaster plans. Contact your local American Red Cross chapter and ask for the community preparedness plan.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand, including:
    • Flashlight, portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
    • First-aid kit
    • Emergency food and water (including a non-electric can opener)
    • Essential medicines
    • Cash and credit cards
    • Sturdy shoes and a change of clothing
    • Copies of important papers (bank statements, insurance records, deeds, etc.)
  • Review the family disaster plan
  • Protect your home (roof, windows, doors, etc.) and trim dead branches from trees.

When a Hurricane Watch or Warning Is Issued

  • Listen to hurricane progress reports. Follow instructions if ordered to evacuate.
  • Check your emergency supplies. Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, jugs, bottles and cooking utensils.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools; anchor objects that cannot be brought inside but that could be wind-tossed.
  • Secure your home by installing hurricane shutters or precut plywood.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings if not instructed by officials to turn off utilities.
  • Fuel your car. Review evacuation routes and gather your disaster supply kit.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.

If Evacuation Is Necessary

  • If officials order evacuation, leave as soon as possible. Avoid flooded roads and watch for washed-out bridges.
  • Secure your home. Unplug appliances and turn off electricity and the main water valve. If time permits, elevate furniture to protect it from flooding or move it to a higher floor.
  • Take your pre-assembled emergency supplies and warm, protective clothing.

For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit www.floridadisaster.org or www.fema.gov.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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