Hurricane Season

SFWMD Navigation Locks on North Shore of Lake Okeechobee Resume Operations Following Hurricane Irma

SFWMD Navigation Locks on North Shore of Lake Okeechobee Resume Operations Following Hurricane Irma

Navigation locks on the Kissimmee River remain closed

Okeechobee, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) resumed normal operations today at five navigation locks on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee after commercial power to those structures was restored following Hurricane Irma:

  • Okeechobee County: S-193 structure, Taylor Creek.
  • Okeechobee County: G-36 structure, Henry Creek.
  • Martin County: S-135 structure, J&S Fish Camp.
  • Glades County: S-127 structure, Buckhead Ridge.
  • Glades County: S-131 structure, Lakeport.

Boaters navigating into the lake through the S-127 lock at Buckhead Ridge should be aware that floating vegetation may hinder their boats as they try to exit the lock chamber. The SFWMD Okeechobee Field Station is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to address the issue as quickly as possible.

On the south shore of the lake, the S-310 lock at Clewiston in Hendry County also returned to normal operations on Monday, Sept. 18.

All SFWMD navigation locks on the Kissimmee River and in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes remain closed as the District continues to evaluate their status to determine when they can safely be reopened. The District anticipates resuming normal operations at the S-61 lock on Lake Tohopekaliga in Osceola County as soon as commercial power is restored.

Navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For the status of those locks, check navigation notices from the Corps.

Visit www.sfwmd.gov/navigation for more information on navigation closures and a full list of SFWMD-operated locks and their operating hours.

For updates on the District’s recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma, follow @SFWMD_EM on Twitter or visit www.sfwmd.gov/stormupdate.


FLOOD INFORMATION SHEET – FLOOD WATERS POSE HEALTH RISKS

FLOOD INFORMATION SHEET FLOOD WATERS POSE HEALTH RISKS

The Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties (DOH-Hendry/Glades) recommends the following precautions to prevent possible illness from flood waters:

Basic hygiene is critical. Wash your hands with soap and either disinfected or boiled and cooled water, especially before preparing or eating food, after toilet use, after participating in flood cleanup activities, and after handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.

Avoid eating or drinking anything that has been contaminated with flood waters.

Do not wade through standing water. If you do, wash and put on clean clothes.

Avoid contact with flood waters, especially if you have open cuts or sores. If you have any open cuts or sores and contact flood waters, wash the area well with soap to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention. Persons who sustain lacerations and/or puncture wounds and have not had a tetanus vaccination within the past 5 years require a tetanus booster

If sewage backs up into your house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup. Absorbent household materials, such as wall coverings, cloth, rugs, and drywall, should be removed and discarded since they cannot be properly disinfected. Hard-surfaced walls and floors, food contact surfaces, such as counter tops, refrigerators, and tables, and areas where children play should be cleaned with soap and water, followed by a disinfecting solution of 1/4 cup of bleach to one gallon of water. All linens and clothing should be cleaned in hot water or dry cleaned, while carpeting should be steam cleaned if not replaced. For larger items, air dry them in the sun, followed by spraying them with a disinfectant.

If your home is served by a septic tank and your plumbing is functioning slowly or sluggishly, you should:

Conserve water as much as possible; if you use less water, you will increase the chance that there will not be any septic problems. This would include minimizing the use of your washing machine by going to a Laundromat or using a portable restroom.

Do not have the septic tank pumped. Exceptionally high water tables might crush a septic tank that was pumped dry or it could pop out of the ground. If the main problem is high ground water, pumping the tank will not solve that problem.

If you cannot use your plumbing without creating a sanitary nuisance, such as sewage on top of the ground, consider renting a portable restroom for a temporary period or moving to a new location until conditions improve.

Do not have the septic tank and drainfield repaired until the ground has dried. Often systems will function properly again when dry conditions return. Any repair must be permitted and inspected by the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties.

For further information, go to www.FloridaHealth.gov or contact the Florida Department of Health at: LaBelle 863-674-4041, Moore Haven 863-946-0707 or Clewiston 863-983-1408.


FEMA INFORMATION FOR DISASTER RELIEF 

FEMA INFORMATION FOR DISASTER RELIEF

The disaster declaration covers the counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Desoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia in Florida which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.  Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Levy and Nassau in Florida.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.  Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov.  If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.

Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Completed applications should be returned to a recovery center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 9, 2017.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018


Twenty-one Additional Florida Counties Designated for Individual Assistance

Twenty-one Additional Florida Counties Designated for Individual Assistance

ATLANTA – Homeowners, renters and business owners in Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma. Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam Sarasota, and St. Johns counties were previously designated for Individual Assistance, bringing the total to 37 counties.

To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Irma, beginning Sept. 4.

Register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  •  Online at DisasterAssistance.gov, or
  •  On the FEMA Mobile App, or by
  •  Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA). Applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800-621-3362. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585.
  •  The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week.
  •  Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and press 3 for other languages.

Don’t be discouraged if you do not have access to telephone or internet service. Disaster survivor assistance specialists will soon be in local communities helping people register for assistance.

Assistance for eligible survivors can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and for other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.

Contact your insurance company to file an insurance claim. FEMA does not duplicate insurance payments. However, you may still receive help after your insurance claims have been settled.

On Sept. 10, Florida received a federal major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance for Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties. All 67 Florida counties were designated for the Public Assistance Program (Categories A-G), including direct federal assistance.

On Sept. 11, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Palm Beach, Putnam, and St. Johns counties were added for Individual Assistance.

On Sept. 13, Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties were added for Individual Assistance.


Staying Safe: Recovering from Hurricane Irma

Staying Safe: Recovering from Hurricane Irma

Tips for keeping you and your family safe:

  • Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
  • If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
  • Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
  • Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
  • If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
  • Avoid plugging emergency generators into electric outlets or hooking them directly to your home’s electrical system – they can feed electricity back into the power lines, putting you and line workers in danger.
  • Avoid downed power or utility lines; they may be live with deadly voltage. Stay away and report them immediately to your power or utility company.
  • Once you and your family and friends are safe, Floridians who have sustained property damage from severe storms and flooding are urged to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at disasterassistance.gov.

FEMA:

  • People should register with DisasterAssistance.gov for information, support, services, and to apply for disaster assistance.
  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance: FEMA may provide Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) to eligible disaster survivors who are unable to return to their homes for an extended period and need shelter. TSA provides short-term lodging for eligible disaster survivors whose residence is uninhabitable or inaccessible. To be eligible for TSA, individuals and households must:
    • Register with FEMA for assistance.
    • Pass identity and citizenship verification.
    • Have a pre-disaster primary residence located in a geographic area that is designated for TSA.
    • Be displaced from their pre-disaster primary residence as a result of the disaster.
    • Be unable to obtain lodging through another source.
    • For those eligible, FEMA will authorize and fund TSA through direct payments to participating hotels/motels. The list of approved hotels is available at DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline (800) 621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: (800) 462-7585).
  • The Red Cross ( http://www.redcross.org/find-your-local-chapter)  can help you find aid and shelters.  Local organizations will establish shelters and provide vouchers for meals, clothing and a limited amount of personal goods.

Flood Insurance:

  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders may contact their insurance agent directly to find out if they are eligible for reimbursement for actions taken to protect their property. To file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP, contact your insurance agent immediately. You can also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – select option 2 – to learn more about your policy, and be directed to the appropriate claims resource.

Protecting you and your family from scams:

As people begin to recover and repair homes, be vigilant against those who wish to scam victims of this storm.  

  • ALWAYS contact your insurance company before you hire a contractor . If the storm damaged your home, car, or property and you have insurance, you can start the claims process by calling your insurance company. If you plan to claim damages related to flooding or storm damage, you should verify that you have the right kind of coverage. If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy, you can ask for one. Ask for an electronic copy of your policy—receiving physical mail may be difficult following the flood. That will help you verify your coverage. If possible, take photos and videos of your damaged property. Documenting damage will help you with your insurance claim.  

Watch out for:

  • People who want you to pay up-front fees to help you claim services, benefits, or get loans.
  • Contractors  selling repairs door-to-door, especially when they ask to receive payment up front or offer deep discounts.
  • Con artists posing as government employees, insurance adjusters, law enforcement officials, or bank employees. It is easy to fake credibility and uniforms, so do not give out personal information to people you don’t know.
  • Government employees never charge to help you get a benefit or service and will never ask for payment or financial information.
  • Fake charities. Normally, legitimate organizations do not have similar names to government agencies or other charities; so if they do, it may be a scam. Never give out donations over the phone.
  • Limited time offers. Anyone who offers you something and tells you that it is for a very limited time may be trying to pressure you into something that you could later regret. You should never be pressured to make a decision on the spot or to sign anything without having enough time to review it. Take your time, read and understand anything presented to you, and ask a trusted friend, relative, or attorney before acting.   

Don’t forget to:

  • Contact your mortgage servicer. Talk to your mortgage lender right away and tell them about your situation. Damage to your home does not eliminate your responsibility to pay your mortgage, however your lender may be willing to work with you given the circumstances. If you don’t have your lender’s contact information, your monthly mortgage statement, or coupon book with you, you can search the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) or call toll-free at (888) 679-6377 to find the company that services your mortgage.
  • Contact your credit card companies and other lenders. If your income is interrupted or your expenses go up, and you don’t think you will be able to pay your credit cards or other loans, be sure to contact your lenders as soon as possible. Ask your creditor to work with you. Explain your situation and when you think you might be able to resume normal payments. It is important to make those calls  before your next payments are due.
  • Contact your utility companies. If your home is damaged to the point you can’t live in it, ask the utility companies to suspend your service. This could help free up money in your budget for other expenses.
  • After contacting the companies related to your most urgent financial needs, take a look at your bills and set priorities—including your mortgage, rent, and insurance payments. Given the countless people experiencing distress from the flooding, contacting your creditors may be difficult. Be persistent and make every effort to reach them.

For veterans:

  • If a veteran is displaced, and has lost their medication and no longer has a written prescription or bottle, they can contact the Health Resources Center Disaster Hotline at 1-800-507-4571 to speak with a representative. Get updates on the VA’s website.

If you need assistance, please contact my office at (202) 224-3041. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for additional updates.


SFWMD Moving Additional Pumps to Hardest Hit Areas, Taking Actions to Help Communities Recovery from Hurricane Irma

SFWMD Moving Additional Pumps to Hardest Hit Areas, Taking Actions to Help Communities Recovery from Hurricane Irma

District providing flood protection across  South Florida after Hurricane Irma

West Palm Beach, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) today continued its response to mitigate the impacts of Hurricane Irma by working to drain flood waters from communities throughout all 16 counties of South Florida.

SFWMD crews are removing three 42-inch temporary pumps previously installed next to the S-39 structure in Palm Beach County to Collier County, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. The pumps will assist in lowering canal levels in the Big Cypress Basin (BCB) where canals are flowing at maximum capacity to move water away from communities and out to tide. The pumps will increase the District’s capacity to move flood water out to tide.

The District is also working with Orlando International Airport to increase the amount of water the airport can discharge from its property to nearby Boggy Creek to lower floodwaters faster. District officials have determined airport discharges can be increased without negatively impacting the Boggy Creek area.

Other actions being taken by the District in response to Hurricane Irma include:

  • Keeping the SFWMD Emergency Operations Center open and at full activation level as the response efforts continue.
  • Continuing to discharge water to tide through all coastal structures at the maximum allowable rates. Most canals on the east coast are receding to normal levels.
  • Using the S-2 and S-3 structures to pump floodwaters into Lake Okeechobee and away from communities and businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma in the Glades region south of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Completing aerial inspections of flood control structures throughout the system. No levee breaches have been identified.
  • Deploying contractors to remove debris throughout the District, especially in the hardest hit areas of Collier, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, that could block canals and impede the ability to move floodwaters away from families and businesses.
  • Working with Florida Power and Light to restore commercial power to all structures in the system.
  • Aerial inspections of the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and other facilities necessary for maintaining the water quality of the Everglades are now complete.
  • Coordinating with local drainage districts to help alleviate localized flooding throughout South Florida.
  • Working to restore power and communications to the Big Cypress Basin Field Station in Naples.
  • Providing modeling and analysis to Lee and Hendry counties for several tributaries, such as the Orange River in Fort Myers, which flow into the Caloosahatchee River and that are expected to crest and recede as a result of the storm.

WATCH: Video of an SFWMD reconnaissance flight over the Big Cypress Basin area in Collier County.    

For more updates on SFWMD’s Hurricane Irma response:

Like SFWMD on Facebook 


SBA Disaster Assistance for Businesses and Residents Expands to Additional Florida Counties

SBA Disaster Assistance for Businesses and Residents Expands to Additional Florida Counties

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration has added more counties to the disaster declaration in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma that began on Sept. 4, 2017.
The disaster declaration covers the counties of Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and Saint Johns in Florida which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, and Volusia in Florida.
Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.


SFWMD Mobilizes Debris Removal Crews, Aerial Inspections in Response to Hurricane Irma

SFWMD Mobilizes Debris Removal Crews, Aerial Inspections in Response to Hurricane Irma

District recovery focusing on clearing debris from canals and inspecting flood control and Everglades restoration infrastructure

West Palm Beach, FL – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) took to the air and land today, Sept. 12, as part of recovery efforts and to continue the assessment of impacts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

As winds from Hurricane Irma subsided in South Florida, the District’s rapid impact assessment and aerial reconnaissance teams started work Monday inspecting the areas of the regional flood control system. Those areas most affected by the storm include the Big Cypress Basin (BCB) in Collier County, Miami-Dade County and the populated areas south of Lake Okeechobee.

Today, aerial reconnaissance flights and ground crews also deployed to inspect all six Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and the A-1 FlowEqualization Basin (FEB) in Palm Beach and Hendry counties. Crews are working to determine if Irma’s high winds uprooted aquatic vegetation that naturally absorbs phosphorus from stormwater in the treatment areas or caused vegetation to block structures associated with the STAs and FEB. These facilities are crucial components of the District’s efforts in restoring and maintaining Everglades water quality.

In the heavily-impacted regions of the flood control system, such as the BCB, District assessment crews spent Tuesday determining where trees and other debris have accumulated as they could block the drainage of flood waters. SFWMD field station staff are removing debris where possible and the District is staging contractors in the BCB and other areas to remove the debris.

The District works year-round to routinely clear trash and other debris from canals and remove trees and other items that encroach on the District’s right-of-ways, such as the ongoing efforts along the C-100A canal in Miami-Dade County. This routine maintenance is done in anticipation of storms such as Hurricane Irma to minimize the amount of debris and vegetation that can block the canal and impede critical drainage of flood water away from neighborhoods after storms.

To move stormwater runoff as quickly and safely as possible, water managers are continuing to release water to tide through coastal outlet structures and pump stations around the clock.

WATCH: Reconnaissance Flight Over the Lower East Coast

For more updates on SFWMD’s Hurricane Irma response:


CARBON MONOXIDE DANGERS

CARBON MONOXIDE DANGERS
–Generator safety precautions can help prevent poisoning–

As Floridians begin the task of preparing for a storm or hurricane, the Florida Department of Health in Glades County (DOH-Glades) is urging the public to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) exposure by taking precautions with gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills.
CO is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that is highly poisonous. CO may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains for those with heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, abdominal pain, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases, death.

DOH-Hendry recommends the following precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
 DO NOT burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent, or fireplace.
 NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home.
 ALWAYS keep portable generators or gasoline engines outside and at least 20 feet away from open windows, doors, window air conditioners, or exhaust vents that could allow CO to come indoors. Follow the instructions that come with your unit.
 INSTALL battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home per the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards for CO alarms (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01).
 TEST your CO alarms per the manufacturer’s recommendations and replace dead batteries.
 REMEMBER that you cannot see or smell CO and portable generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly.
If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY.
If you suspect CO poisoning, call your nearest Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.
For further information, go to http://www.floridahealth.gov/ or contact DOH-Glades at 863-946-0707.


OKEECHOBEE COUNTY SHELTER LIST 2017

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY SHELTER LIST 2017

*Primary Shelters (Others will be opened ONLY if necessary)

Important: Shelters will only be opened on an as-needed basis (at the discretion of the County Emergency Management Director). You should stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for announcements regarding shelter openings.

**Persons with Special Medical Needs MUST be pre-registered!

Registration forms can be found on the County Website athttp://www.co.okeechobee.fl.us/departments/emergency- management/documents

Director of Emergency Management – Mitch Smeykal
Okeechobee County Emergency Management Department
Phone: (863) 763-3212

Citizen Information Line: (863) 824-6888


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