An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Orange County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Hurricane Matthew information 10/5/2016

UPDATE October 5, 2016 at 11 a.m. Orange County’s Office of Emergency Management is advising residents to stay vigilant and informed as Hurricane Matthew approaches the state of Florida. The latest projected storm path indicates Orange County and eastern neighboring counties may be impacted as early as Thursday evening. At this time, Orange County has activated to a Level Two, which includes bringing in additional personnel to support preparedness efforts. Activation levels may adjust as the storm approaches.

Citizens are being asked to finalize preparedness efforts as well to include: ensure that any loose items in yard or home are secured; make sure emergency supply kits are stocked with water and nonperishable foods enough to last 3 – 5 days. Please top off vehicles with fuel. Consider visiting the ATM, prior to any potential power outage. Check on neighbors, particularly seniors and those who may have special needs. Finally, please bring pets inside and ensure the safety of livestock.

Please see the below announcements and requests from Orange County:

  • Residents are encouraged to visit for the latest Hurricane Matthew information as it pertains to Orange County.
  • Orange County Emergency Management officials are working in partnership with the Orange County School Board to identify shelters, in the event of evacuations. NO EVACUATIONS have been ordered in Orange County.
  • Orange County Public Works, Stormwater Management Division is proactively checking drainage infrastructure to include stormwater drains, canals and ponds as well as other sites in anticipation of potential heavy rainfall in Orange County. In addition equipment to remove debris and tree limbs is being inventoried and tested.
  • Sandbag Distribution – Orange County Public Works will begin to distribute sandbags at all eight locations listed below starting Wednesday, Oct. 5, beginning 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. Residents are eligible for up to 10 sandbags per vehicle. For information and locations, visit

    • Apopka - 3258 Clarcona Road
    • Bithlo - 18753 Old Cheney Highway
    • Goldenrod - 2530 N. Forsyth Road
    • John Young - 4200 S. John Young Pkwy.
    • Taft - 1442 Intermodal Way
    • Three Points- 4631 Young Pine Road
    • West Orange - 644 Beulah Road
    • Zellwood - 3400 Golden Gem Road

When making a storm preparedness list, consider the Five Ps: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs and Priceless Items.

People, pets and other animals or livestock.

Prescriptions with dosages; medicines; medical equipment; batteries or power cords; eyeglasses; and hearing aids.

Papers and important documents (hard copies and electronic copies saved on thumb drives).

Personal needs—such as clothes, food, water, first aid kit, cash, phones, and chargers.

Priceless items, including pictures, irreplaceable mementos and other valuables. For more information, visit and

Get Notifications and Stay Informed

Download Orange County, Florida's OCFL Alert, OCFL News, OCFL 311, OC ALERT 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.

UPDATE October 05, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.

Orange County Animal Services Reminds Families to Include Pets in Hurricane Prep Plans

While the Orange County Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring the track of Hurricane Matthew, Orange County Animal Services is urging residents to include pets in their disaster plans

“We often find that residents simply do not think that a storm will impact them, and therefore do not have a disaster plan, or do not include their pets in those plans. But the best way a family can protect themselves, along with their four-legged friends is to be prepared. We are asking that everyone please don’t forget their furry friends in emergency disaster plans,” says Dil Luther, Orange County Animal Services Division Manager. It is vital that in the event of an emergency, families and their pets know where they will go, what they need to bring for their four-legged family members, as well as have a two-week supply of food for their pets.”

Although Orange County is NOT under evacuation orders, residents are encouraged to be prepared for Hurricane Matthew.

Getting Ready

  • Ensure pet vaccinations are current.
  • Consider microchipping pets if not already done so to ensure you can find pets in the event you are separated.
  • Have a copy of your pet’s medical records, which should be included in your “Pet Disaster Kit.”
  • Arrange for a safe place to stay that permits pets.
  • Research places that are pet friendly. (Note - animals are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters, except for service animals, so you may want to stay with a friend or relative, or motel/hotel that is pet friendly.)
  • If possible, PLEASE do not leave pets behind during an evacuation or emergency.
  • With pending serious weather, bring all households pets inside.

Pet Disaster Kit

  • A list, including phone numbers of pet-friendly places.
  • A pet carrier for each pet, in which the animal can stand and turn around. Write your name, address and phone number and include additional contact information for someone outside the area.
  • Pet Health Record in a waterproof container (each pet should display a current rabies tag at all times).
  • Current picture of your pet in a waterproof container and an extra identification tag.
  • Collar and leash for dogs, and an adjustable collar for cats.
  • Two-week supply of pet food, water, bowls, cat litter/box and any necessary medications.
  • Plastic bags to hold contents such as pet treats and small toys.
  • Newspapers, plastic bags, cleaner and disinfectants to handle pet waste.
  • A cotton sheet to cover the carrier to keep the pet calm.
  • Pet First-Aid Kit: Ask your veterinarian for the supplies appropriate for your pet.

For more information on how to prepare your pet for a disaster, contact your veterinarian; call Orange County Animal Services at (407) 254-9140 or visit

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About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.

About Orange County Animal Services: Orange County Animal Services is Central Florida’s largest pet rescue and adoption center. Last year, Animal Services received nearly 20,000 animals at its shelter. For more than 40 years, the agency’s mission has been to protect the citizens and animals of Orange County. Its vision is to give abandoned and neglected pets a second chance to live long, healthy lives in safe, loving homes.