News Release: Florida State Emergency Response Team
May 1, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) urges residents and visitors in north Florida affected by this week’s severe weather and subsequent flooding to remain vigilant and to take precautions to ensure their continued safety.
“The storms will continue to affect north Florida as river levels continue to rise,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “Monitor your NOAA weather radio or local media for instructions from local emergency management officials, and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. The SERT will continue to provide assistance to counties who request it.”
Flood Warnings are in effect for the following counties: Calhoun, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, Washington.
This weather event has already caused flooding in 26 Florida counties. The tips below can help you and your family or business stay safe:
• Turn Around, Don’t Drown. If you see a flooded roadway, turn around and take another route. Take your time when traveling.
• Avoid Standing Water. Avoid contact with flood waters, especially if you have open cuts.
• Wash Your Hands. Stay as clean as possible by washing your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected.
• Don’t Wait to Evacuate. Follow instructions from local officials by staying tuned to local media for evacuation or sheltering and take action immediately.
• Use Flashlights, Not Candles. Ensure your family has enough flashlights and batteries in the case of a power outage. Candles create a fire hazard and should be avoided.
• Avoid Downed Power Lines. If you see a downed power line, assume it is live and contact the utility. Do not try to handle it yourself. If you have gas utilities and smell gas in your home, do not turn on any appliances or lights, leave your home, and contact your utility company immediately.
• Follow Beach Warning Flags. If you go to the beach, pay attention to the warning flags and do not swim if beaches are closed. Tropical storms, including Debby, increase the risk of dangerous rip currents.
• Prevent Food-Borne Illness. Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal surges.
• Animal Safety. Ensure that your pets have proper identification. If separated from your pet contact local animal control or veterinarian offices. For livestock issues, contact local extension office or animal control.
For additional information about severe weather in Florida, and to Get A Plan, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLSERT, Instagram @FloridaSERT, Vine @FloridaSERT, Pinterest FloridaSERT and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT and www.Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.