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Tropical Storm Ernesto News

For more information:

Steve Homan, FDOT
Director of Public Information, District 5 (386) 943-5479
Vicky Mixson, FDOT
Public Information Officer (407) 571-6799 (321) 439-9245

FDOT Encourages Use of 511 in Hurricane/Emergency Preparedness

Statewide system provides Florida interstate travel times, road closures and major evacuation routes

ORLANDO, FLA., AUGUST 29, 2006-With the approach of Tropical Storm Ernesto, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is encouraging Floridians and visitors to incorporate the free 511 service into their emergency preparedness plans. By dialing 511 from a cell phone or a landline, callers can hear real-time traffic reports on all interstate highways in the state and Florida's Turnpike. During emergency evacuations, 511 will provide up-to-the-minute reports on major evacuation routes, bridge and road closures due to hazardous conditions, contra-flow usage and roadways with toll suspensions.

"511 is a valuable tool to assist residents, visitors and emergency personnel in avoiding, responding to and recovering from disasters," said Steve Homan, FDOT District 5 Director of Public Information. The 511 service is one of the many tools the FDOT has implemented to assist in ensuring timely and organized evacuations of residents and quick response by emergency personnel.

The FL511.com Web site also provides travel information on all Florida interstate highways and Florida's Turnpike as well as links to county hurricane and emergency informational resources and weather reports and advisories. The Web site is also available nationwide for visitors planning trips to Florida. "The importance of keeping responders, residents and visitors informed is paramount to our overall mission in emergency preparedness," said Homan. "Our intent is for the 511 system to get real-time information to residents and visitors when it matters most."

FDOT launched the statewide 511 service and the FL511.com Web site in late 2005. This is the first hurricane season in which residents, visitors and emergency responders will be able to utilize this free, real-time traffic information. Central Florida, Tampa Bay and Southeast Florida each have regional 511 systems that service their particular areas. All systems can be reached through FL511.com or one call to 511 where voice-activated prompts lead callers through regional options.

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Last updated: August 29, 2006

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