TAVARES — Lake County Emergency Management is monitoring Hurricane Irma, with the latest forecast showing the storm to have some impact on Central Florida. In response, Lake County has declared a local state of emergency.The Lake County Emergency Communications and Operations Center (ECOC) is now at Level 2 – Partial Activation. The county has opened the Citizens Information Line, which can be reached by calling 352-253-9999 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
At this time, preparation is key. Residents are encouraged to develop a family communication plan, decide in advance on a meeting location, and prepare a disaster go-kit including important personal, medical and legal papers to be stored in a safe place.
No county emergency shelters are open at this time.
Sandbags are available at multiple county and municipal locations. The county’s interactive map will be updated in real time: www.lakecountyfl.gov/sandbags
TRASH AND BULK WASTE COLLECTION
Today is the last day this week for residents to schedule bulk waste collection by calling 352-343-3776 or their hauler. Residents may also visit one of the county’s Solid Waste Residential Convenience Centers to drop off additional trash. Convenience center locations and hauler contact information can be found online at: www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/public_works/solid_waste/. Any changes to collection following the storm will be announced. Residents are encouraged to secure yard debris and trash during the storm.
GETTING YOUR FAMILY READY: DISASTER SUPPLY KIT
• Non-perishable food (such as dried fruit or peanut butter)
• First aid kit
• Extra batteries
• Matches in a waterproof container
• Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap
• Paper plates, plastic cups and utensils, paper towels
• Water – at least a gallon per person, per day
• Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
• Whistle to signal for help
• Can opener (manual)
• Local maps
• Pet supplies
• Baby supplies (formula, diapers)
• Prescription medications
GETTING YOUR HOME READY
• Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
• Cover up windows and doors outside. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
• Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch it off.
• Fill clean water containers with drinking water in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
• Lower the thermostat in your refrigerator and freezer to the coolest possible temperature. If your power goes out, your food will stay fresh longer. Read more about food safety after a storm.
GETTING YOUR CAR READY
• Fill your car’s gas tank. You may also want to consider making plans with friends or family to get a ride.
• Check your car’s emergency kit.
• Move cars and trucks into your garage or under cover.
NOAA ALL HAZARDS WEATHER RADIO INFORMATION
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week, weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office to include weather warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information.
Lake County’s emergency alert system, AlertLake, is a mass notification service that allows the county to communicate with citizens. Residents may opt-in and enter their contact information to subscribe to notifications based on location. The information provided is protected and will not be used for any other purpose. When a notification about a potential safety hazard or concern is issued, residents will receive their choice of a phone call, text or email. To sign up, visit www.alertlake.com.
Smart911, a national public safety service, allows families to create a Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com, providing details such as photos of children, home address, medical notes and emergency contacts. If someone dials 9-1-1 from any phone number registered, that information will be available to dispatchers to send response teams to the location with current information. Smart911 is private and secure and information is only available to emergency personnel when a 9-1-1 call is made.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
For more information about Emergency Management, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/emergency and follow Emergency Management at www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFLEmergencyManagement and www.twitter.com/lakeemergency.