When the potential threat of a hurricane is approaching, it’s always good to have a plan

September 5, 2017

Photo courtesy of NOAA/NCEP

Hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30

Native Floridians are familiar with the  impact of hurricanes and the damage it can do to property, life and our coastline. However, many newcomers are not aware of the what is important to prepare for should a large storm should approach our area. It is important to have valuable information before hand. Here is a list of actions you should take to prepare.

The Clyde B Wells bridge (U.S. Hwy. 331) shuts down at 40 mph SUSTAINED winds.

Click here to download map of low lying areas.

Here are some helpful links for information:

Click here for real time map of road closures, alerts, evacuation zones, and more

Click here for tracking information and discussion on all hurricane information

**Where can I get official Hurricane Forecasts?**
Official tropical cyclone forecasts can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov. Walton County Emergency Management’s social media channel will be updated as well when an active tropical cyclone has the potential to impact Walton County.

**Where can I get real-time information on Florida road conditions?**
https://fl511.com/ is Florida’s Official Source for Real-Time Traffic Information. You can add filters to show incidents, construction, congestion and more.

**Where can I get updates on what the County is doing during a Hurricane?**
To receive updates on County actions during a disaster like a hurricane follow our social media accounts.
Facebook: Walton County Emergency Management
Twitter: @WaltonCountyEM
Website: www.waltoncountyem.org

**What should I do if a Hurricane or Tropical Storm is forecast to impact Walton County?**
If a tropical cyclone is forecast to impact Walton County it is important that you monitor Walton County Emergency Management social media, local media, and the National Weather Service. Follow any protective actions that are called for. This could include evacuating your home. Be sure to have a fully stocked disaster supply kit ready and have a disaster plan for you, your family, or your business. To create a plan visit FL Get a Plan or FEMA Ready.gov.

**How can I tell if I live in an evacuation zone?**
To determine if you live in an evacuation zone, use our free Evacuation Zone Locator Tool https://waltongis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html…

**What should I have in my disaster supply kit?**
At a minimum you should have AT LEAST THREE (3) DAYS WORTH of the following items in your disaster supply kit:

Water (1 gallon per person per day)
Non-Perishable Food
Manual Can Opener
Battery Powered or hand cranked radio
NOAA Weather Radio
Flashlight with Batteries
First Aid Kit
Prescription Medications
Hand Sanitizer
Local Maps
Cars/Board Games

For more info on your Kit and Plan download our Emergency Preparedness Brochure at http://www.co.walton.fl.us/553/Disaster-Supply-Kit

**Where can I find pet friendly emergency sheltering?**
Currently Walton County does not have a pet friendly shelter. To find pet friendly housing please visit: http://www.officialpethotels.com

**When is the Clyde B Wells Bridge closed?**
The Clyde B. Wells Bridge closes when sustained winds reach 45mph.

**What if I have an access or functional need?**
If you have an access or functional need please register on the Special Needs Shelter website.

**Where are the Special Needs Shelter and General Population Shelter?**
They are co-located at Freeport High School. Other shelters throughout the county could be opened should the needs arise.

Freeport High School
12615 Business Highway 331
Freeport, FL 32439

**What if I have a question or have an issue during a hurricane or other disaster?**
When the Emergency Operations Center is activated you can contact the Citizen Information Line (CIL) at (850) 892-8392 or (850) 892-8394. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY CONTACT 911.


Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.

Don’t forget about your pets. Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
    • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit. Here is another pet hotels link. If you have livestock, click here for list of available pastures/housing.
    • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
    • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!