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Orange County Office of Emergency Management advises residents to prepare for possible storm impact

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ORLANDO – Aug. 27, 2015 - Orange County’s Office of Emergency Management advises residents to prepare for potential inclement weather as the result of Tropical Storm Erika. The latest projected storm path indicates Orange County may be impacted late Sunday night through Tuesday.

“It has been more than a decade since the last major hurricane in Central Florida in 2004, so it’s important for all residents to not be complacent and get prepared now,” said David Freeman, manager of Orange County’s Office of Emergency Management. “Some residents new to the area have not experienced a hurricane previously, so we want to ensure everyone knows what they need to do to stay safe.”

Freeman advises everyone to have a battery-powered weather radio, which is available at local hardware stores as well as Walmart and Target.

“Even if we don’t experience a direct impact by the storm, residents should be aware of the possibility of tornadoes, thunderstorm squalls, flash flooding and microbursts,” he said. “We are closely monitoring the situation and will provide timely updates as the situation develops.”

Orange County Public Works will distribute sandbags at all eight Maintenance Unit locations on Friday, Aug. 28 and Aug. 29, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information and locations, visit There will be a ten-bag per vehicle limit.

Tips to remember:

  1. Have an Emergency Plan

    Put together a safety plan so you and your family know what to do in case of an emergency. Visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s website at and complete an action plan. Some important things to remember:

    • Have at least five to seven days worth of non-perishable food and water on hand.
    • Ensure that you have extra prescription refills to last for three months.
    • Secure copies of important documents like driver’s license, passport, insurance information and bank account records.
    • Be familiar with your nearest shelter (general shelters, special-needs shelters and pet- friendly shelters).
    • Don’t forget your pets! Make sure to have enough pet food and your pet’s vaccination records.
  2. Get Notifications and Stay Informed

    Download Orange County, Florida's OCFL Alert, OCFL News and OCFL 311 mobile applications for free on Apple and Android devices to receive emergency management communications and to stay informed before, during and after a storm,

    • OCFL Alert is an emergency notification and information smartphone app that provides critical information during times of emergency. Life-saving information includes open shelter locations, water and ice distribution centers, evacuation routes, public service announcements and much more.
    • OCFL News provides you with breaking news about Orange County Government in action. Stay informed of important information and emergency news releases through push notifications.
    • OCFL 311 is a smartphone app that allows users to photograph, pinpoint and report any problem you may encounter before, during or after the storm. All of this can be done directly from your smartphone to Orange County’s 311 Service Center.
    • OC ALERT is an alert system that allows Orange County Government to contact you via email or cell phone text message during an emergency affecting Orange County. Register free-of-charge for OCAlert,
    • American Red Cross Emergency App – Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out.
  3. Protect Your Home

    • Make sure to review your homeowner’s policy and have your property inspected and updated before any disaster strikes.
    • Have trees around your home inspected and trimmed to help prevent damages.
    • Reduce risk of flying debris by storing outdoor items as patio furniture, grills and other loose items.

About Orange County Fire Rescue
Orange County Fire Rescue is the largest fire and rescue department in Central Florida. It serves more than 924,000 citizens and visitors and responds to nearly 100,000 calls for service annually. The mission of the Orange County Fire and Rescue Department is to provide fire suppression, emergency medical and community risk reduction services to ensure our community can enjoy a high quality life and property protection delivered with compassion and integrity. Follow us on Twitter at @OCFireRescue.