Thursday, January 28, 2010

OPERATION HAITI RELIEF – RECOVERY DAY 16

Florida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 16 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

On January 15, Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order (#10-06) in response to the earthquake. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains operational at a Level 2 or partial activation.

The State Emergency Response Team has established a Flight Following Cell at the State EOC to track incoming flights from Haiti to Florida. To date 722 flights with 16,296 passengers have returned to Florida airports.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided services to 6,283 individuals coming from Haiti to the United States since January 13.

The Florida Department of Health reports that 458 persons have been received at Florida hospitals, 368 have been received in South Florida, 75 have been received in the Orlando area and 15 have been received in the Tampa area. On Wednesday Governor Crist requested that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services activate the National Disaster Medical System and provide a plan to support the ongoing medical and humanitarian needs of evacuees.

Volunteer Florida is currently coordinating and assisting 41 community and faith-based organizations that are on the ground or providing services in support of the survivors in Haiti. Over 1,000 volunteers from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Florida, Compassion Alliance, The Eagles Way Foundation, Florida Association of Food Banks, Florida Interfaith Networking In Disaster and Lutheran Services Florida have logged nearly 26,000 hours during the two week relief operation.

11 Florida National Guard and 10 Agency for Workforce Innovation Creole translators are on scene at Sanford International Airport to aid repatriates. 10 Florida National Guardsmen are providing additional support services for incoming flights to the Orlando/Sanford International Airport from Haiti.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Severe Weather Awareness Week Topic of the Day: Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week will take place from January 24-30, 2010. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an opportunity for Floridians to learn about the various weather hazards that frequently impact the state and how families and businesses can prepare for these natural events. Each day focuses on a specific weather event.

The topic for Thursday is: Hurricanes and Flooding. video

OPERATION HAITI RELIEF – RECOVERY DAY 15

OPERATION HAITI RELIEF – RECOVERY DAY 15

Florida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 15 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

On January 15, Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order (#10-06) in response to the earthquake. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains operational at a Level 2 or partial activation.

The State Emergency Response Team has established a Flight Following Cell at the State EOC to track incoming flights from Haiti to Florida. To date 660 flights with 15,411 passengers have returned to Florida airports.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided services to 6,015 individuals coming from Haiti to the United States since January 13.

The Florida Department of Health reports that 436 persons have been received at Florida hospitals, 361 have been received in South Florida and 75 have been received in Sanford.

Volunteer Florida is currently coordinating and assisting 41 community and faith-based organizations that are on the ground or providing services in support of the survivors in Haiti. Over 1,000 volunteers from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities of Florida, Compassion Alliance, The Eagles Way Foundation, Florida Association of Food Banks, Florida Interfaith Networking In Disaster and Lutheran Services Florida have logged nearly 26,000 hours during the two week relief operation.

11 Florida National Guard and 10 Agency for Workforce Innovation Creole translators are on scene at Sanford International Airport to aid repatriates. 10 Florida National Guardsmen are providing additional support services for incoming flights to the Orlando/Sanford International Airport from Haiti.


For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.

Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week Topic: Tornadoes and Thunderstorms

Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week will take place from January 24-30, 2010. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an opportunity for Floridians to learn about the various weather hazards that frequently impact the state and how families and businesses can prepare for these natural events. Each day focuses on a specific weather event. The topics for each weekday are:

Wednesday, Jan. 27: Tornadoes and Thunderstorms video

Monday, January 25, 2010

Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week Topic: Lightning

Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week will take place from January 24-30, 2010. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an opportunity for Floridians to learn about the various weather hazards that frequently impact the state and how families and businesses can prepare for these natural events. Each day focuses on a specific weather event. The topics for each weekday are:

Monday, Jan. 25: Lightning


Tuesday, Jan. 26: Marine Hazards and Rip Currents
Wednesday, Jan. 27: Tornadoes and Thunderstorms
Thursday, Jan. 28: Hurricanes and Flooding
Friday, Jan. 29: Temperature Extremes and Wildfires



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Sunday, January 24, 2010

FLORIDA HOSTS THE LARGEST ASSEMBLY OF COMMUNICATIONS GEAR IN THE SOUTHEAST AS OPERATION RADAR EXERCISE BEGINS MONDAY

Over 400 participants and 140 pieces of high-tech communications gear in action

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) and Florida National Guard (FLNG) will host “Operation Radar,” the largest assembly and evaluation of communications systems in the Southeast at the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Camp Blanding, Florida on January 25-29, 2010.

“Our goal during the week is to bring together the various technical teams from around the state and region to train and coordinate unified operations under real-world conditions,” said Interim Director David Halstead. “The ongoing events in Haiti serve to illustrate how important it is for responders from different agencies to be able to communicate with each other in a disaster.”

Over 400 participants and 140 pieces of communications gear from local, state and federal agencies will stage across the grounds of the Florida National Guard’s 72,000 acre training site for the week to test interoperable and portable equipment, operational plans and procedures.
Examples of communications systems to be tested during the week are: The Florida Interoperability Network (FIN), Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS), Emergency Deployable Interoperable Communications (EDICS), Emergency Deployable Wide Area Remote Data Systems (EDWARDS) and trailers, Mutual Aid Radio communications systems, Regional Emergency Response Network (RERNs) and Mobile Command Vehicles.

Since 2001 the state of Florida, Regional Domestic Security Task Forces and local agencies have been working on the development, implementation and rollout of a variety of systems in order to provide interoperable communications between response agencies for day-to-day and emergency operations.

Media Day is Tuesday, January 26

The media day is scheduled for Tuesday, January 26 beginning at 8:30 a.m. Registered media will be able to interview local, state and federal officials, technicians, and tour communications equipment from all seven domestic security regions in Florida.

News Media seeking to cover Tuesday’s media availability at 8:30 a.m. must contact the Florida Division of Emergency Management in advance at 850-413-9883 for access to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center.

Entrance to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is controlled through the main gate off of State Road 16, located between State Road 21 and U.S. 301 in Starke, Fla. Pre-registered media personnel should arrive at the main gate by 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning for processing and escort to the training location.

Site media contacts:

The DEM site media contact for this event is John Cherry at 850-519-2177 and the back-up contact with the FLNG is Lt. Col. Ron Tittle at 904-814-7559.

For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com.
And for the latest daily situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.

OPERATION HAITI RELIEF - DAY 12

Florida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day 12 of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

On Friday, January 15, Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order (#10-06) in response to the earthquake. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains operational at a Level 2 or partial activation.

To date, six U.S. urban search and rescue teams, including two South Florida teams with personnel from Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami, have rescued a total of 47 people from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince. They are scheduled to return to Florida on Monday.

The State Emergency Response Team has established a Flight Following Cell at the State EOC to track incoming flights from Haiti to Florida. To date 474 flights with 12,716 passengers have returned to Florida airports.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided services to 5,306 individuals coming from Haiti to the United States since January 13.

Volunteer Florida is currently coordinating and assisting 41 community and faith-based organizations that are on the ground or providing services in support of the survivors in Haiti. For a complete list of relief agencies working in Haiti that are taking donations, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org

The Florida Department of Heath reports that 299 persons have been received at Florida hospitals, 234 have been received in South Florida and 65 have been received in Orlando. A 22-person State Medical Response Team has provided services to 15 persons in Homestead.

The Florida National Guard has sent 11 Haitian-Creole speaking guardsmen to serve as interpreters at Orlando-Sanford Airport. 11 interpreters, 2 supervisors.

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IS JANUARY 24-30

Public is invited to the grand kickoff event at Downtown Disney this Saturday!

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Charlie Crist has proclaimed January 24-30, 2010 as Severe Weather Awareness Week, in Florida. This year the annual public awareness campaign included a poster and video PSA contest sponsored by five Florida area Radio Disney stations in Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

Multiple events are planned statewide as state, county and local emergency officials seek to educate Floridians on daily topics such as lightning, tornadoes, floods and rip currents. The annual kickoff media event and award ceremonies will be held at the Downtown Disney Marketplace in Lake Buena Visa beginning on Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 2 p.m. The fun, family event is free and open to the public.

“Florida is a great place to visit and call home,” said David Halstead, interim director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management. “With this beautiful place comes a personal responsibility for all Floridians to understand and be prepared to survive the weather hazards that affect our state.”

Over 400 elementary and high school students statewide participated in the annual poster and video PSA contests. The winners will be announced Saturday and the winning entries will be displayed in the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee during the first two weeks in February.

Annual Tornado Drill Wednesday, January 27

In addition to the poster and video contests, on Wednesday, January 27, the statewide Tornado Drill will be conducted by the National Weather Service Offices in Florida at 10:10 a.m. Eastern Time (9:10 a.m. Central Time). This year the drill will include actual over-the-air test messages on the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Alert Radios. In the event of an actual severe weather threat, the test would be moved to the same time on Friday, January 29.

On Saturday, January 30, The National Weather Service Office in Tallahassee will host the second annual Weatherfest at Florida State University beginning at 10 a.m. There will be interactive displays and games, tours of the National Weather Service and FSU Meteorology offices, the State Emergency Response Team Mobile Command Vehicle, a mobile radar truck and other local emergency response vehicles.

Additional Severe Weather Awareness Week sponsors include the American Red Cross, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, i.d.e.a.s. and Midland Radio Corporation.

For more information on the 2010 Severe Weather Awareness Week go to http://www.floridadisaster.org/. More information on WeatherFest can be found at www.srh.noaa.gov/tae/?n=weatherfest2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FLORIDA TEAMS HELPING HAITI, DAY NINE

Florida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day nine of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.


Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

On Friday, Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order (#10-06) in response to the earthquake. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains operational at a Level 2 or partial activation.

To date, six U.S. urban search and rescue teams, including two South Florida teams with personnel from Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami, have rescued a total of 43 people from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.

The State Emergency Response Team has established a Flight Following Cell at the State EOC to track incoming flights from Haiti to Florida. To date, 244 flights with 8,243 passengers have returned to Florida airports.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided services to 3,226 individuals coming from Haiti to the United States since January 13.

Volunteer Florida is currently coordinating and assisting 37 community and faith-based organizations that are on the ground or providing services in support of the survivors in Haiti. For a complete list of relief agencies working in Haiti that are taking donations, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org

The Florida Department of Heath reports that 176 persons have been received at Florida hospitals, 154 have been received in South Florida and 22 have been received in Orlando.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FLORIDA’S EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM MEMBERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN HAITI AND FLORIDA

Florida-based disaster response teams continue to assist in the international response and recovery efforts of last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Today is day eight of emergency operations both on the island nation and the Sunshine State.

“I want to congratulate our state – based teams for the incredible work they are doing under extreme conditions in Haiti,” said Interim Director David Halstead. “Their success clearly demonstrates the importance of having highly trained and well-equipped teams, and reminds us why we work so hard to be ready to answer the call where there are lives on the line.”

Response efforts by the state of Florida to date include:

On Friday, Governor Charlie Crist issued an Executive Order (#10-06) in response to the earthquake. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains operational at a Level 2 or partial activation.

To date, six U.S. urban search and rescue teams, including two South Florida teams with personnel from Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami, have rescued a total of 42 people from collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince.

The State Emergency Response Team has established a Flight Following Cell at the State EOC to track incoming flights from Haiti to Florida. To date, 191 flights with 6,836 passengers have returned to Florida airports.

Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) has provided services to 2731 Americans returning from Haiti to the United States since January 13. On Wednesday DCF serviced 1,611persons.

Volunteer Florida is currently coordinating and assisting 37 community and faith-based organizations that are on the ground or providing services in support of the survivors in Haiti. For a complete list of relief agencies working in Haiti that are taking donations, please visit www.volunteerflorida.org

The Florida Department of Heath reports that 154 persons have been received at Florida hospitals, 138 have been received in South Florida and 16 have been received in Orlando.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

FLORIDA TEAMS HELP MORE THAN 1,500 SURVIVORS RETURNING TO THE U.S. FOLLOWING THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE


As of 9 a.m. Sunday, teams from Florida’s state agencies and volunteer organizations have aided in the return, or repatriation, of 1,518 U.S. citizens arriving from Haiti at airports throughout Florida.

“Our State team continues to work closely with federal officials to make sure that the needs of returning earthquake survivors are met,” said Interim Director David Halstead. “I am very proud of Florida’s responders who have, once again, answered the call when there are people in need.”

State officials from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), Department of Health, and Division of Emergency Management, along with members of the American Red Cross and Second Harvest joined local and federal law enforcement, U.S. Customs and EMS personnel to receive the individuals.

Of these 1,518 citizens, 375 required services from the Department of Children and Families, including transportation, accommodations and other miscellaneous needs. 50 of the repatriated citizens required medical attention and have been admitted into various South Florida hospitals.

"As flights bringing Americans back to our country arrive at airports in Miami, Homestead and Sanford, our staff is on hand around the clock to supply assistance," said Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon. "These needs may include transportation, medical assistance, mental health counseling and sadly, all too often, the basic needs of fresh water and a meal. Department employees are offering the friendly face of a welcoming home and the sincere interest in helping them to meet their most pressing needs."

DCF translator connects with family while helping survivors in Sanford

Valery Dambreville, a DCF investigator working as a Creole translator at Orlando Sanford Airport received a welcomed news yesterday when his aunt, Francia Bernavil, stepped off the relief flight from Port-au-Prince to Sanford. Dambreville and his relatives had not been able to reach Bernavil, who splits time between Haiti and Miami, since Tuesday’s earthquake.

"When I saw her, I dropped what I was doing and I ran to her and starting calling her name," Dambreville told the Orlando Sentinel. "Hopefully, the same joy I received I can help someone else to get it."

What is repatriation?

Repatriation is the procedure by which American citizens are officially processed back into the U.S. after an evacuation from overseas. This process is done with federal, state and local agencies as well as volunteer groups to help citizens with basic needs such as documentation, transportation and medical assistance where applicable.

The Department of Children and Families is also offering help to Floridians affected by the disaster.

"While the devastation in Haiti is apparent to everyone, the pain is shared by many Haitian-Americans including a number of our fellow employees who have either lost loved ones or are anxiously awaiting word of their status. We are actively working with local, private mental health service providers including school counselors to help those in Florida who are suffering," added Sheldon.

For more information on the Florida Department of Children and Families please visit http://www.state.fl.us/cf_web/ . To learn about the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: http://www.floridadisaster.org/. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: http://www.kidsgetaplan.com/. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

DEM ANNOUNCES NEW RESPONSE CHIEF AND STATE METEOROLOGIST

~DeLorenzo returns to former post, Godsey promoted to State Meteorologist~

Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) Interim Director David Halstead today announced that Michael DeLorenzo has been named Bureau Chief of Response and State Emergency Response Team Chief (SERT Chief) and Amy Godsey as State Meteorologist.

“Mike brings an extensive background in public service and emergency management to the State team and we are honored to have him return to our ranks as Response Chief,” said Halstead. “Amy has been a dedicated member of our Meteorological Unit and a proven communicator while serving as Deputy Meteorologist. I am proud to promote Amy to the top position of State Meteorologist.”

DeLorenzo previously served as Bureau Chief of Response and Preparedness for the Division from 2001 to 2006. He served as SERT Chief during the 2004-05 hurricane seasons when eight storms impacted the Sunshine State. From 1975 to 1999 DeLorenzo served in several technical and management positions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Godsey has served the Division as Deputy State Meteorologist from 2006 to November 2009 when she was named Acting State Meteorologist. Amy is a 2006 graduate of the Florida State University in Tallahassee and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology and a minor in Physics.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FLORIDA EMERGENCY INFORMATION LINE TO OPEN FRIDAY AT 10 A.M.

~Floridians can link to informational resources on recovery efforts in Haiti~

The Florida State Emergency Information Line will open at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday, January 15 to provide Floridians a link to informational resources on the international response and recovery efforts in Haiti.

The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice. The number for residents to call is:

800-342-3557

The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee remains activated to a Level 2, or partial activation, and emergency management officials are continue planning efforts with state, federal and international disaster officials to assist with response and recovery efforts for the island nation.

For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.

# # #

Governor Crist Asks Floridians to Donate Wisely to Aid Survivors of Disasters

An informed approach to disaster donations maximizes ability to help make a difference abroad

Governor Charlie Crist today joined officials from the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Volunteer Florida) in urging Floridians to donate to survivors of disasters, including those in Haiti.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families impacted by the devastating Haiti earthquake,” said Governor Crist. “Now is a critical time for the people of Haiti, when monetary contributions are most needed. If you are in a position to contribute, I encourage you to work with an organization you trust.”

An effective way for Floridians to assist with relief efforts is to make a cash contribution to a humanitarian organization they are familiar with and trust. Information on identifying humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations and accepting cash donations for their efforts in Haiti is available by calling the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at (703) 276-1914, or by visiting www.cidi.org.

“Monetary contributions are crucial during disaster recovery efforts, such as those in Haiti,” said Interim Director David Halstead. “Donating judiciously will ensure that Floridians hard earned dollars are reaching the intended cause.”

Today, the Governor also announced the activation of the “Neighbors to the Rescue” through the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund. The fund is Florida based and particularly aids in regional long term disaster recovery efforts. Donations can be made at www.FLADisasterRecoveryFund.org or by calling 1-800-825-3786. The American Red Cross has also established an immediate way to contribute cash donations. Text messaging ‘HAITI” from a cell phone to “90999” will automatically donate $10 to assist with relief efforts.

Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is also available to assist with volunteer coordination and donations to local relief organizations. Floridians can visit www.volunteerflorida.org and www.whitehouse.gov for more information. Please visit www.FloridaDisaster.org for more information on Florida’s emergency management program.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Statement by GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST Regarding the Earthquake in Haiti

“As one of Haiti’s closest neighbors, Florida stands ready to offer assistance to those affected by today’s devastating earthquake. The Division of Emergency Management has notified the United States Department of State that we are ready to assist in every way possible. I have discussed with State Representatives Yolly Roberson, Ronald Brise and Mack Bernard ways we can support Florida families with loved ones in Haiti. Our hearts and prayers go out to them all.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee today activated to a Level Two, or partial activation to plan for any response and recovery efforts to the island nation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Record Cold Continues, Relief by Week's End

An arctic air mass will continue to linger over the Deep South today, keeping temperatures across Florida well below normal. Temperatures at or below freezing this morning will continue until around 9 or 10 am. Some locations across North Florida may experience freezing temperatures through noon. Freeze warnings remain in effect for nearly the entire state through the mid morning.

Highs this afternoon will reach only into the mid 40s over the northern half of the state, with only low to mid 50s expected further south. Breezy north-northwest winds of 10-15 mph will make conditions feel much colder, especially during the morning, as wind chills will range from the teens over the north to lower 20s in the south. Wind Chill Advisories and Wind Chill Warnings are in effect for nearly the entire state, including the Keys.

Tonight, Freeze Watches and Freeze Warnings continue as freezing temperatures will once again reach as far south as the South Florida mainland. Lows are forecast to drop into the upper teens to low 20s from the Panhandle to North Central Florida, with mid to upper 20s forecast for the remainder of Central Florida southward into interior South Florida.

Temperatures in the Keys are forecast to dip into the low to mid 40s. Locations along the immediate coast will be slightly warmer; however, a brief period of temperatures at or below freezing cannot be completely ruled out. Durations of sub-freezing temperatures will be around 12-14 hours across North Florida, 6-12 hours across Central Florida, and 3-6 hours across South Florida.

Hard Freeze conditions could harm or kill vegetation, exposed pipes, automobiles and any small to medium animals that remain outdoors. Please use the 5-P's of cold weather safety.
Along with the colder air mass, conditions will continue to be very dry and conducive to the spread of wildfires. Red Flag Warnings have been issued for all of Florida, except for the Keys, due to critically low relative humidity and breezy winds.

To access the latest watches, warnings, and advisories from the National Weather Service for your county, please click here.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Arctic Front Brings Very Cold Temperatures This Weekend

Temperatures Friday night will plummet into the 20s tonight across North Florida and hard freeze warnings have been posted as far south as Ocala. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing levels from Orlando to Tampa southward. However, winds will be strong and will produce wind chill values in the mid 10s across North Florida, low 20s across Central Florida, and upper 20s across South Florida. Hard Freeze conditions could harm or kill vegetation, exposed pipes, automobiles and any small to medium animals that remain outdoors. Please use the 5-P's of cold weather safety tonight.

Scattered to isolated showers are expected across the Florida Big Bend, Northeast and Central Florida in advance of the front and rainfall will be light in nature, totaling less than 0.25 inches across the state. A light wintery mix of sleet is possible in a small strip of land south of Gainesville reaching to St. Augustine, but should be light enough to prevent any widespread problems. Overnight, rainfall will be shifting to Central and South Florida where rainfall accumulations will max out at 0.5 inches. No severe weather is expected.

Relative humidity values will drop below critical thresholds this afternoon in the western panhandle and Florida Big Bend, will enhance the spread of wildfires should they occur, and will warrant a red flag warning and a fire weather watch for the region.

There is a moderate rip current risk for East-Central Florida beaches today due to long period swells. Be sure to check local conditions when arriving to beaches in this region today.
To access the latest watches, warnings, and advisories from the National Weather Service for your county, please click here. To access the latest watches, warnings, and advisories from the
National Weather Service for your county, please click here.

Weather Images Courtesy of Weather Services International


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold Weather Flash Report for January 7

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NORTH FLORIDIANS URGED TO USE CAUTION AS THE NEXT ARCTIC COLD FRONT MAY CAUSE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS FRIDAY

State officials are urging residents and visitors across the Florida Panhandle to use caution as the next cold front may cause slick roads and bridges in rural areas during the overnight period into Friday morning.

“With the very cold rain and near freezing temperatures forecast to accompany the next arctic cold front moving into the state tonight, there is a possibility that some rural bridges and roads may have ice,” said Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors across the region should use extra caution as they travel early Friday morning.”

Temperatures are expected to plunge once again into the lower 20s across northern Florida Friday night and as low as the mid teens Saturday night. Freezing temperatures will be prevalent south to Lake Okeechobee throughout the weekend.

Freeze and Hard Freeze Warnings will likely be issued for much of North and Central Florida through the weekend.

Floridians and visitors continue to practice the "Five P's" of cold weather safety this weekend. The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

The following actions are important safety measures:
Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Indoors: Do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in your home.
Outdoors: Stay dry and in wind-protected areas.
Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
Drink non-alcoholic fluids.
Shelter or bring inside animals, especially pets.

For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: www.FloridaDisaster.org. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: www.KidsGetAPlan.com. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Governor Crist Issues Executive Order Number 10-01 Due to Cold Weather Outbreak

Please click on the link below to see Executive Order 10-01, regarding the declaration of a State of Emergency due to freezing temperatures across Florida. This declaration will ensure that timely precautions are taken to protect Florida’s agricultural crops and citrus. Link: http://tiny.cc/Q7Zmc

Cold Weather Alert for January 5, 2009

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URBAN AREAS SECURITY INITIATIVE (UASI) NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced eligibility of nonprofit organizations located in Florida’s five Urban Areas to apply for funds as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This grant program will provide more than $19 million nationwide to eligible 501(c) (3) entities to provide funding support for target-hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack. This program seeks to integrate nonprofit preparedness activities with broader state and local preparedness efforts.

Individual organizations in Florida may apply for up to $75,000. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations through the Florida Division of Emergency Management, which is the only agency in Florida eligible to apply for the grant directly with DHS.

Nonprofit organizations must develop investment justifications that address each initiative proposed for funding. These Investment Justifications must demonstrate how proposed projects address gaps and deficiencies in current programs and capabilities. The Investment Justification must demonstrate the ability to provide enhancements consistent with the purpose of the program and guidance provided by FEMA. Applicants must ensure that the Investment Justification is consistent with all applicable requirements outlined in the application kit. Applicants may only submit one Investment Justification on behalf of their nonprofit organization in order to be considered for funding.

The federal grant funds may only be used for “target-hardening activities”, which can be accomplished through training or the purchase and/or installation of security equipment on real property owned or leased by the nonprofit organization. Additionally, nonprofit organization security personnel may use NSGP funds to attend security-related training courses and programs.

Not all eligible nonprofit organizations are guaranteed to receive funding under the FY 2010 NSGP. Final allocation decisions will be made by DHS and will be based on risk assessments and how well applicants address program requirements through their investment justifications.

Nonprofit organizations must submit applications through the Florida Division of Emergency Management to be considered eligible for an award of up to $75,000. Nonprofit organizations must agree to match 25 percent of the federal grant through cash or in-kind contributions, which may include training investments related to use of equipment purchased with the grant, or training investments related to general purpose security and emergency preparedness for staff.

Applications must be e-mailed to the Division no later than February 19, 2010 complete with point of contact information in the event the applicant is awarded. For more information on the FY 2010 UASI NSGP, please contact Tina Quick at (850) 413-9974 or e-mail Tina.Quick@em.myflorida.com

Sunday, January 3, 2010

ARCTIC COLD FRONT BRINGS BELOW-FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO FLORIDA THIS WEEK

State officials are urging residents, visitors and agricultural interests throughout Florida to prepare for temperatures near or below the freezing mark throughout this entire week. Temperatures could reach the lower 20s away from the coast across northern Florida and near the freezing mark as far south as Lake Okeechobee.

“An arctic cold front has moved through the state this weekend and this has resulted in much cooler morning temperatures. The cold air-mass will produce a widespread freeze across much of Florida through the entire week,” said Meteorologist Amy Godsey. “Residents and visitors across the state should prepare for an unusually long period of freezing or subfreezing temperatures each morning that could harm vegetation, pipes, animals and people.”

Durations of freezing temperatures will range from 5-7 hours inland and 2-4 hours near the coast. Freeze Warnings could be issued for a large portion of Florida, with Hard Freeze Warnings likely for much of North Florida through the middle or latter parts of this week.

Residents and visitors should remember the "Five P's" of cold weather safety. The “5 P’s” are: Protecting People, Protecting Plants, Protecting Pets, Protecting Exposed Pipes, and Practicing Fire Safety.

The following actions are important safety measures:
Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.

Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Indoors: Do not use charcoal or other fuel-burning devices, such as grills that produce carbon monoxide. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor in your home.

Outdoors: Stay dry and in wind-protected areas.

Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.

Drink non-alcoholic fluids.

Shelter or bring inside animals, especially pets.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson is also reminding people to take measures to protect their pets during the extreme cold, including bringing them inside if possible or at least providing proper shelter outdoors. Bronson says his department is keeping a close eye on the weather to determine whether there will be an impact on any crops but the jury is still out. "Our farmers have some methods to protect their crops but it really comes down to not only how low the temperatures get but also how long the extreme cold lasts," Bronson said. "We will continue monitoring the situation throughout the week." Anyone interested in weather updates for agriculture can log onto http://ag-er.blogspot.com/.
For more information on the Florida Division of Emergency Management and to GET A PLAN!, please visit: http://www.floridadisaster.org/. All students, teachers and parents can find educational information and free downloadable materials at: http://www.kidsgetaplan.com/. And for the latest situation and flash reports go to: www.YouTube.com/FloridaSERT.