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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2005
CONTACT: DOH Press Office, Doc Kokol (850) 245-4111

DOH Urges Floridians to Prepare for Tropical Strom Ophelia

TALLAHASSEE – In preparation for Tropical Storm Ophelia, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) recommends residents and visitors of the east coast of Florida establish emergency plans and disaster kits.

“We are sending key personnel and resources to the county health departments on the east coast of Florida in anticipation of Tropical Storm Ophelia,” said DOH Secretary John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H. Our leadership team is present in the region and local County Health Departments and State offices are ready to respond as necessary.”

DOH Deputy Secretary Bonita Sorensen, M.D., M.B.A., Florida’s State Health Officer and former Volusia County Health Department Director, has been deployed to the Duval County Health Department to help coordinate the region’s response.

Agwunobi urges Floridians to monitor Tropical Storm Ophelia, as its track and impact is still uncertain, and he suggests Floridians assemble and maintain a disaster supply kit.

The disaster supply kit should include items in six basic areas: (1) water, (2) food, (3) first aid supplies and medications, (4) clothing and bedding, (5) tools and emergency supplies and (6) important family documents.

Tips for Making Your Kit Keep loose items in airtight plastic bags. Gather the kit’s items in easy-to-carry containers or duffle bags. Put kit within reach of your most often used exit. Check and update your kit and family needs at least once a year.

DOH also advises families with children to prepare their children by presenting a realistic picture of what is happening, which is both honest and manageable, and assembling a supply kit for their children.

Your child’s kit should include: A few favorite books, crayons and paper Puzzles, a board game, deck of cards Two favorite small toys, such as a doll or action figure, a stuffed animal Favorite blanket, pillow Pictures of family and pets Other special items that will comfort children

A battery-powered weather radio equipped with a special alarm tone feature is a vital tool. During an emergency, National Weather Service forecasters will interrupt routine weather radio programming and send out the special tone that activates weather radios in the listening area. The supply kit will be valuable if you are confined to your home or evacuated to a place other than a well-stocked shelter.

For further information, please contact your local county health department or visit www.doh.state.fl.us or www.FloridaDisaster.org.

The Florida Emergency Information Line: (800) 342-3557 Public Information Emergency Support Function: (850) 921-03844

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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