The Duval County Preparedness and Response Guide highlights life-saving information for residents in all times of disaster.
For translation into other languages, the full text of the 2023-2024 guide is available below for translation into different languages ((please utilize the Google Translate tab at the top of this page).
Text Only Version
Message from the Mayor:
We are no strangers to extreme weather in Jacksonville. Time has shown that our greatest defense against natural disasters and other emergencies is to be prepared.
Every year, the City of Jacksonville publishes this Emergency Preparedness Guide with important information and tools designed to help residents prepare for all types of emergencies. It includes many tips, checklists, and step-by-step instructions for what to do before, during, and after an emergency. Hurricane season is once again upon us. In order to keep you and your family safe, I encourage you to use this resource to make a plan, gather your supplies, and be prepared.
The City of Jacksonville is hard at work making sure our community is JaxReady this year and every year. I encourage you and your family to use this guide and do your part to ensure you too are JaxReady.
FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY – CALL OR TEXT 911
- The operator will gather information to get help started.
- What is the address of the emergency? House? Business? Apartment?
- What is the phone number?
- Tell the operator exactly what happened. Accident? Fire? Medical? Crime?
- The operator needs to gather information to assist emergency personnel for the most accurate response.
- The operator will ask a short series of questions to determine if any pre-arrival instructions are required. Cardiac? Choking? Childbirth?
- Answer the questions to the best of your knowledge and follow any instructions you are given.
- Help is on the way.
TIP: Operators will get help started while they gather additional information for responders. It is essential to answer all questions to the best of your ability, so first responders know what to expect when they arrive.
The City of Jacksonville and JEA - Partners in Preparedness
Dear JEA Customers:
At JEA, we encourage you to join us in being prepared. Our 2,100 team members take a variety of steps throughout the year to keep our community safe -- before, during and after severe weather.
We know you rely on us, and that’s why JEA has invested millions of dollars to harden our electric and water operations so they can better withstand the effects of major storms. This improved infrastructure enables us to restore services and resume normal operations more quickly. Our crews trim trees year-round throughout Northeast Florida to help prevent power outages. And before storm season begins, JEA team members work with the City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Preparedness Division to practice response coordination.
During a storm, and in the days that follow, JEA crews operate around the clock. Once the height of the storm passes and weather reports indicate it is safe, we immediately enter the restoration phase of our emergency operations. Our “Restoration 1-2-3” process is designed to assess and repair our facilities and restore power across our 900-square-mile service territory as quickly and safely as possible.
Our phased response to storm restoration is detailed later in this guide. It will provide you important information about what JEA does, and what you should be doing as well.
For more than 125 years, JEA has been honored to serve you. As your community-owned utility, we live by the mantra that “we are all in this together.” And by working together, we can get through any event that comes our way.
Please prepare and be safe this storm season.
JEA Managing Director and CEO
Basic First Aid
CPR EMERGENCY PROCEDURE
- Check if alert, breathing & pulse
- Call 911
- CPR if needed. Push hard and fast in center of chest
- Continue until help arrives
- Verify if person is choking
- Give 5 back blows
- Give 5 abdominal thrusts
- Alternate giving back blows and abdominal thrusts
HEAD, NECK, AND BACK INJURIES
- Call 911
- Hold Still
- Watch for vomiting
- May have unequal pupils
- Call 911
- Apply direct pressure
- Elevate injured area
- Wrap with a bandage
- Tip: Place tourniquet 2” – 3” above wound if needed
- Help/Support area
- Check pulses & sensation
- Apply ice or a cold pack
- Immobilize the area
- Treat for shock
- Move person to a cooler place
- Remove or loosen tight clothing & apply cool cloths to the skin
- Fan the person
- Give small amounts of cool water to drink
- If the person vomits or loses consciousness, call 911
Active Shooter Response
An active shooter is an individual engaged in attempting to kill people in a confined space or populated area. Active shooters typically use firearms and have no pattern to their selection of victims. Learning what to do now can help you react quickly when every second counts.
If you determine that you can reach an escape path to a safer area, then get out!
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Have an exit plan.
- Move away from the threat as quickly as possible.
- Create as much distance between you and the threat as possible.
If you can’t evacuate, find a secure place to hide out.
- Create distance between you and the threat.
- Find barriers to prevent or slow down the shooter from getting to you.
- Turn off the lights and silence your phones.
- Remain out of sight by hiding behind large objects.
- Be quiet.
As a last resort, if you can’t hide out and if you have absolutely no other option, confront the active shooter.
- Be aggressive, yell, and commit to your actions.
- Do not fight fairly - Throw items and use improvised weapons.
- Survive by any means necessary.
CALL OR TEXT 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO
Information to give to 911:
- Location of the active shooter(s)
- Number of shooters
- Physical description of shooter(s)
- Number and type of weapons held by shooter(s)
- Number of potential victims at the location
- CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE
- CAN HAPPEN ANYTIME
TIP: The first officers on the scene will not stop to help the injured; their top priority is to end the threat. Rescue teams will move in after the first officers. They will treat and move the wounded to safety.
Important Alert Systems
It is important to know how the City of Jacksonville will notify the community before, during, and after an emergency. Below are some of the ways you can receive important emergency information.
JAXREADY APP: The JAXREADY app, brought to you by the Emergency Preparedness Division and Information Technologies Division of the City of Jacksonville, Florida, will help you monitor weather threats and plan for evacuation in the event of a natural disaster. Some of the features of the JAXREADY app include:
• GPS functionality for locating your Evacuation Zone
• Current Emergency (EOC) Activation Level, Weather Threat Level, and Fire Danger Index based upon your geolocation
• Links to special needs registration for those with special medical needs during an evacuation
• Weather and fire news
Download the JAXREADY app today! Available for iOS and Android devices.
WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS (WEA): The Wireless Emergency Alerts system is an essential part of America’s emergency preparedness. Authorized national, state, or local government authorities may send alerts regarding public safety emergencies – such as severe weather, missing children, or the need to evacuate using these alerts. The alerts are broadcast to the geographic area affected by an emergency. Learn more by visiting ready.gov/alerts.
ALERTJAX: ALERTJAX is an emergency notification system that alerts Duval County residents in the event of an emergency. This system provides time-sensitive information for local and countywide emergencies, including severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service. ALERTJAX is a free service available to Duval County residents. Register for an account today by visiting JaxReady.com/ALERTJAX.
COMMERCIAL MEDIA: Local broadcast stations will publish Duval County emergency alert information. Power failures are likely during a severe weather event; keep at least one battery powered radio in your household.
SMARTPHONE ALERTS: Certain apps available on your smartphone have the capability of notifying you during a disaster or emergency. Make sure that you check your app preferences and have the alerts turned on so you will receive timely warnings.
www.JaxReady.com - Look for Duval County essential emergency information before, during, and after disasters.
www.nws.noaa.gov - Sign up for weather-related web feeds that are sent directly by text or email.
The City of Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division, in partnership with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, has created a new voluntary registry, R.E.V.A.M.P. Duval. R.E.V.A.M.P. Duval, is the Registry for Endangered, Vulnerable, and Missing Persons within Duval County.
This secure registry allows caregivers to register those in their care with cognitive, memory impairment, or sensory disabilities who may be prone to wandering off.
First responders will utilize the information provided by caregivers, and loved ones to aid in search and rescue efforts. Having access to vital information, such as photos, frequently visited locations, critical medical conditions, and communication needs, allows first responders to better assist the missing individual.
WHO SHOULD REGISTER?
R.E.V.A.M.P. Duval is intended for individuals with cognitive, memory impairment, or sensory disabilities, such as, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s and Autism. These individuals may be at risk for wandering off and become disoriented to time and place, requiring assistance from emergency responders to be returned safely home.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
• You may register online now at JaxReady.com/REVAMP.
• You may also download a registration form and follow the instructions at the top of the form to submit by mail or email.
• If you would like to register by phone, you may contact the Emergency Preparedness Division Office by phone (904) 255-3172. Please note you may be asked to submit a photo of the individual by mail or email.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF REGISTERING?
• If your loved one were to wander off, furnishing vital information to first responders is time sensitive. Registering this information Just- In- Case will give you peace of mind and allow you one less worry should the worst happen.
• The information entered in the registry becomes available to police and fire personnel during response efforts. This provides responders with important context about any behaviors, critical medical conditions, and the best method of approaching the individual when searching for them.
WHAT INFORMATION IS RECORDED?
The information can include the following, but many fields are not mandatory:
• The name, age, address, and description of the person.
• The name, address, contact information of the individual entering the data and any other support person who might be able to assist the person being registered.
• Disabilities or critical medical conditions the person may have.
• Behaviors that may be exhibited by the person.
• The best method for approaching the person.
• Any methods of transportation and locations the person frequently visits.
HOW IS THIS INFORMATION PROTECTED?
The information within the registry will only be used in the planning for and provision of search and rescue services provided for the individuals registered. The registry is restricted for emergency responder access only on a “need-to-know” basis for official search and rescue operations.
Visit JaxReady.com/REVAMP or use this QR code to learn more.
BUILD AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT
In the event of an emergency, you may need access to food for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other essential supplies to last for at least three days. To assemble a supply kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire supply kit into one or two easy-to-carry containers. In some disasters, you may be safer staying at home. In the event that you need to evacuate, make sure you bring your emergency supply kit with you.
FOOD SERVICE NEEDS
- Sleeping Bags and/or Pillows and Blankets
- Lawn Chairs/Folding Chairs
- Hot and Cold Weather Clothing
- Sturdy Closed-Toe Work Shoes
- Rain Gear
- Personal Hygiene (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, etc.)
- Medications (prescription and non-prescription)
- Spare Eyeglasses
- Hearing Aids
- Entertainment (cards, books, quiet games)
- Baby/Infant Needs (diapers, formula, baby food, etc.)
- Drinking Water (one gallon per day per person for 7 days)
- Non-Perishable Food
- Manual Can Opener
- Juice/Soft Drinks/Instant Coffee or Tea/Dry Milk
- Lighter/Waterproof Matches
- Pots/Pans/Cooking Utensils
- Aluminum Foil
- Disposable Plates, Cups, and
- Plastic Wrap/Ziplock Bags/Garbage Bags
- Cooler for Food Storage
- Cooler to Transport Ice
BASIC SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- Basic Tool Kit (hammer, wrenches, etc.)
- Specialized Tools (for water, gas valves, etc.)
- Plastic Tarps or Roll Plastic Sheeting
- Assorted Screws and Nails
- Duct Tape
- Canvas or Leather Work Gloves
- Fire Extinguisher
SANITATION/CLEAN UP SUPPLIES
- NOAA Weather Radio
- First Aid Kit With Instruction Book
- Battery Powered Television, Radio, and Clock
- Battery Powered Lanterns
- Extra Batteries and Car Chargers for Electronics
- Whistle (to signal for help if needed)
- Unscented Bleach
- Water for Cleaning
- Assorted Cleaners
- Rubber Gloves
- Brushes, Brooms, and Mops
- Towels and Rags
- Plastic Garbage Bags
- Bucket with Lid for Emergency Toilet
- Toilet Paper/Paper Towels
- Wet Wipes and Waterless
- Hand Sanitizer
- Water (one gallon per day for each animal)
- Food and Treats
- Food and Water Bowls
- Vaccination and Registration Records
- Collar or Harness with ID Tag, Rabies Tag and Leash
- Cat Litter and Tray
- Plastic Bags for Pet Waste
- Current Photo of You and Your Pets
- Comfort Items (toys, bedding)
- Cage or Carrier for Each Animal
MAINTAIN YOUR KIT
- Spare Keys
- Pen/Pencils and Paper
- Important Documents (identification, insurance policies, and account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container)
- Keepsakes, Significant Photos
- Coins, Cash, and Credit Cards
- Maps and Evacuation Information
- Important Phone Numbers
- Two-Way Radios
FOOD STORAGE: Store canned food in a cool, dry place and boxed food in plastic or metal containers.
CHECK AND REPLACE: Regularly check the date on items in your kit, such as food, medications, and batteries, and replace expired items as needed.
UPDATE: Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.
HAVE A PLAN
Though it may seem difficult or time-consuming to plan for the unexpected, planning ahead is the number one way to stay safe in the event of a disaster. It is important to prepare for all hazards that could impact you, especially large-scale disasters like hurricanes that may affect the entire community.
Prior to hurricane season, develop or update your Family Emergency Plan. Hold a meeting with your family to discuss what you will do in an emergency. Ask the following questions:
- WHAT IS YOUR ESCAPE PLAN? When planning for hurricanes, understand your evacuation zone and establish an evacuation route.
- DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT? The kit should have enough supplies to last seven days for every person in your family, including a plan for yearly maintenance.
- WHERE WILL YOU MEET? Your family should have a set meeting location in the event that you become separated. Also, consider where you would meet if you evacuate.
- HOW WILL YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FAMILY IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY? You cannot always count on your cell phone to work, especially if cell towers are down.
- WHO IS YOUR OUT-OF-TOWN CONTACT? Pick someone that each of your family members can contact to check-in with and report their status.
- DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR YOUR ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD? This includes children, pets, and individuals needing additional assistance.
- DID YOU SHARE YOUR PLAN? Your Family Emergency Plan should be shared with friends, co-workers, and out of town family members. Encourage them to develop Emergency Plans of their own. Disasters can affect everyone in the community!
- Emergency supply kit
- Cash and credit cards
- Contact list
- Family photos
IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS - Social security card, driver’s license, passport, medical and homeowners insurance documents
CHANGE OF CLOTHING - Enough for each member of your household
PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS - Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion, deodorant, tissues, face coverings, and gloves
MEDICAL NEEDS - Wheelchair, canes, walkers, medications, hearing aids, and extra batteries
BABY NEEDS - Diapers, formula, food, and change of clothing
PET CARE - Identification and immunization records, carrier or cage, muzzle, collar, leash, food, and water
TIP: Prior to evacuating, consider taking photos or videos of your residence to assist in documentation of property. This may help provide information for potential insurance claims.
Small Animal Preparedness
TIP: Identification microchips are recommended for all pets. For more information visit coj.net/pets
Large Animal Preparedness
- Be sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars with securely fastened current identification that includes the telephone number and address.
- Train both dogs and cats to feel comfortable in being in a crate for fast transportation during a disaster.
- Always bring pets indoors during the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster.
- Keep an emergency pet kit and ensure that it is easy to carry and in an accessible place.
- Have current photos of your pets in case they get lost during a disaster.
TIP: If there is an emergency in Duval County and you have been ordered to evacuate, please contact Animal Care and Protective Services to get current information on large animal evacuation sites in our area. 904-630-CITY (2489)
- Make sure your horse is identifiable with a bracelet or microchip.
- Train horses to lead and trailer so they become comfortable with the process.
- Identify evacuation routes where you can board your horses outside of an evacuation zone.
- Have a surplus of feed available. Don’t get to the last bale when disaster strikes.
- Never turn your horse or livestock loose. You never know how they will react and they could be a danger to you and others.
HOW JEA RESTORES POWER AFTER A STORM AND HOW YOU CAN HELP
BEFORE THE STORM
Over the past several years, JEA has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in hardening our electric, water and sewer systems to make them more resistant to storm-related disruptions. These critical improvements help us restore power and return to normal operations more quickly after a major storm.
YEAR-ROUND TREE TRIMMING
While strong winds and heavy rains cause their share of storm damage, most storm-related power outages result from tree branches falling on power lines. That makes some sections of Jacksonville – those with the most mature trees – more susceptible to service interruptions when a major storm hits. To reduce the risk of downed branches causing outages during a storm, JEA trims trees across the city all year long, working on a 2.5-year cycle to cover JEA’s 900-square-mile service territory.
WATER AND SEWER UPGRADES
We’ve invested millions to upgrade our water and sewer facilities and have installed backup generators to reduce the risk of storm-related service interruptions.
DURING THE STORM
At the height of a major storm, JEA team members are in place, monitoring the weather and assessing the storm’s impact on our facilities. Our Emergency Operations Center works around the clock. Key personnel are deployed to the field to alert us to any serious system failures. And our linemen are in position, waiting for weather conditions to improve to the point that it is safe for them to begin restoring power.
AFTER THE STORM
Once the height of the storm passes and weather reports indicate it is safe, JEA immediately enters the restoration phase of our emergency operations. Our “Restoration 1-2-3” process is designed to assess and repair our facilities and restore power across our service territory as quickly and safely as possible.
PHASE 1: PUBLIC SAFETY
As soon as weather conditions permit, JEA begins assessing our facilities, making critical repairs to our power plants, transmission lines, substations, and water and sewer facilities. We then restore power to our local hospitals, shelters, and police and fire stations, and make repairs to the “backbone” of our electric grid that will bring the majority of our customers back into power as quickly as possible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Phase 1 is our public safety phase, and we appreciate your patience as we restore these critical services first. If possible, stay off the roads and avoid downed power lines.
KNOW WE’RE ON IT:
Just as you’d pull over on the highway to let an ambulance pass, you can help us save lives and restore power to everyone faster by waiting for the announcement that JEA beginning to restore power to individual homes and businesses.
PHASE 2: INDIVIDUAL CUSTOMERS
With public safety repairs complete, JEA will move to Phase 2 of our process. Utility crews now begin making repairs by electric “circuits” – repairing an entire circuit of approximately 2,500 homes before moving on to another circuit. Priority is given to making repairs that will restore power to the most customers.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Report your outage:
You can report your outage at any time by calling (904) 665-6000 or visiting jea.com/outage. You can also text “OUT” to MyJEA (69532) to receive restoration updates on your phone.
PHASE 3: FINAL REPAIRS
When repairs to all major circuits are complete, JEA will enter Phase 3, targeting the few remaining isolated outages. We know this phase can be the most frustrating for those few customers who are still without power, and we appreciate your continued patience as we direct all our resources toward completing the restoration process. Rest assured, we won’t stop until everyone has power.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
If you still don’t have power:
Sometimes, major storms can cause damage to your home that will prevent your power from coming back on even though JEA has made all necessary repairs to your circuit. If everyone else in your neighborhood has power and you don’t, please call (904) 665-6000 so JEA can help you determine the cause of your continued outage. To help us better assist you:
Check your circuit breaker:
Have any switches been tripped? Note: If your home has any storm-related flooding, address this issue first before attempting to assess any home electrical problems.
Make a visual inspection of the outside of your home:
Is there any visual damage to your weatherhead – the place where electric wires attach to your home? Are there any wires dangling on the ground that should be connected to your home? If so, stay clear and call (904) 630-CITY report it.
If you’re returning home after evacuating:
Enter cautiously and look for signs of flooding or other damage. Steer clear of any downed power lines and report them to (904) 630-CITY.
Power Up Gradually:
Turn on your appliances one at a time to prevent power surges.
Thunderstorms and Lightning
Thunderstorms can develop in Duval County at any time, but they are most frequent in late spring through early fall. All thunderstorms produce lightning. Florida is considered the “lightning capital” of the country, with more than 2,000 lightning-related injuries occurring within the state over the last 50 years. Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms can lead to:
- Flash flooding
- Strong winds
During a thunderstorm you should:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM RISK CATEGORIES
- Go inside or seek shelter immediately
- Avoid objects that conduct electricity
- Get as far away from water as possible
- Avoid open areas and high ground
(MRGL) - Isolated severe thunderstorms possible – Limited in duration and/or coverage and/or intensity. Wind to 40-60 mph, hail up to 1”, and low tornado risk.
(SLGT) - Scattered severe storms possible – Short-lived or not widespread, isolated intense storms. One or two tornadoes. Reports of strong winds and wind damage. Hail -1”, isolated 2”.
(ENH) - Numerous severe storms possible – More persistent and/or widespread, a few intense. A few tornadoes. Several wind damage reports. Damaging hail 1”-2”.
(MDT) - Widespread severe storms likely – Long-lived, widespread, and intense. Strong tornadoes. Widespread wind damage. Destructive hail, 2” or greater.
(HIGH) - Widespread severe storms expected – Long-lived, very widespread, and particularly intense. Tornado outbreak. Derecho (widespread, long-lived windstorms).
A tornado is a column of violently rotating air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. The extent of destruction caused by a tornado depends on its intensity, size, path, and amount of time it is on the ground.
When conditions are right for a tornado, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Ensure you have multiple ways to receive weather alerts, warnings, and notifications
- Stay tuned to local weather or listen to your NOAA weather radio.
- Go to the innermost hallway on the lowest floor of your home or workplace. Stay away from windows.
- Do not try to outrun a tornado in a car. Seek sturdy shelter immediately.
- If you live in a manufactured home, seek other sturdy shelter immediately.
- Do not leave your shelter until the danger has passed.
BE AWARE: Conditions are right for a tornado to form. Make sure you have a way to receive weather alerts and know your safe space.
TAKE ACTION: A tornado has been spotted in your area or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately in your safe space.
A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted fire. Wildfires often occur in wilderness areas, but they can occur anywhere. Wildfires can start by natural causes, such as lightning, but most are caused by humans. While wildfires are a year-round risk in Florida, peak activity usually occurs January through June. Some ways that you can protect your home from wildfires include:
Warm & Cold Weather
- Creating and maintaining a defensive space (30 ft. area around your home that is free of anything that will burn)
- Regularly cleaning your roof and gutters
- Regularly mowing grass and disposing of dead, dry plant matter
- Thinning out trees so there is at least 10 to 15 ft. between tree crowns
- Adhering to year-round burn ban
HEAT ADVISORY: Issued when the heat index ranges between 108°F and 112°F for any duration of time
EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING: Issued when the heat index reaches or exceeds 113°F for any duration of time
Hydrate by drinking water or sports drinks.
Offer to help those you know with limited access to air conditioning.
Stay in an air-conditioned area during peak heat hours.
Avoid unnecessary exertion.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
Stay out of the sun if you do not need to be in it.
FREEZE WARNING: Issued when temperatures are expected to drop below 32° F for at least two hours
HARD FREEZE WARNING: Issued when temperatures are expected to drop below 28° F for at least two hours
5 P’s OF COLD WEATHER PREPAREDNESS
Protect Plants -Cover cold-sensitive plants to protect them from dangerous temperatures.
Protect Pets- Bring outdoor pets inside or provide a warm shelter for them.
Practice Fire Safety- Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release deadly carbon monoxide.
Protect People- Dress in warm layers and wear a hat and gloves.
Protect Pipes- Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent them from freezing and breaking.
Hurricanes & Tropical Storms
Tropical disturbances, tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes are all different types of tropical cyclones classified by their maximum sustained surface wind speed. Tropical cyclones are rotating low-pressure systems that form over warm tropical water.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are among the most dangerous risks to Duval County. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. However, storms can form at any time throughout the year.
SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE
Category 1- Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding, and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap, and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. WIND SPEED: 74-95 mph
Category 2- Well-constructed framed homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. WIND SPEED: 96-110 mph
Category 3- Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking, and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. WIND SPEED: 111-129 mph
Category 4 Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. WIND SPEED: 130-156 mph
Category 5- A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. WIND SPEED: 157 mph or higher
Tropical Weather Alerts
TROPICAL WEATHER WATCH
BE AWARE: Tropical Storm or Hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours in the Watch area. Monitor alerts, check your emergency supplies, and gather any items you may need if you lose power.
TROPICAL WEATHER WARNING
TAKE ACTION: Tropical Storm or Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours in the Warning area. During a Warning, complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by local officials.
STAY WEATHER AWARE
Stay informed on current weather conditions from the comfort of your home with WeatherSTEM!
This innovative system provides users access to high-resolution weather cameras, real-time radar, and much more throughout Duval County.
Start at Duval.WeatherStem.com
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. With many low-lying areas, the St. Johns River, and other waterways, Duval County is always at risk for flooding regardless of whether a tropical cyclone is affecting our area. The impact of a tropical cyclone can vary depending on the amount of rainfall, wind intensity, high or low tide, storm surge, and wave characteristics.
The St. Johns River flows north toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a storm approaches, water begins to back up the river, slowing down its flow into the Atlantic Ocean. When paired with high tides and rainfall, widespread flooding is a significant threat.
EVACUATION ZONES AND FLOOD ZONES ARE NOT THE SAME THING!
- Six inches of moving water can knock over an adult
- Two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles
- Floodwater can be electrically charged and very dangerous if there are downed powerlines
- Floodwater can contain debris, sharp objects, sewage, and microorganisms
- Floodwater can hide holes or other hazards under its surface
Are calculated using many factors such as wave action, precipitation, drainage systems, and areas that could become isolated from emergency services.
Geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. Flood zones are used for flood insurance ratings and building code requirements.
Urban flooding, also referred to as nuisance flooding, is the accumulation of floodwaters that result when the inflow of stormwater exceeds a drainage system’s capacity to infiltrate water into the soil or carry it away. Prolonged or sudden intense rainfall saturates the ground, and less rain can be soaked up by soil and drainage systems. You can help mitigate this by ensuring that grass clippings, mulch, and other debris remain clear of storm drains.
Storm surge is an abnormal and dangerous rise of water generated by a hurricane or tropical storm. As these storms make landfall, they produce rises in water level and strong winds that push water into shore. A storm surge can increase the normal high tide by 15 feet or more. Along the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane.
In 2017, Jacksonville experienced this firsthand with Hurricane Irma, which produced significant flooding along the banks of the St. Johns River.
One dollar invested in protecting your home can save up to six dollars in damage expenses. Wind, flood, and storm surge are three hazards that are common to coastal and river communities, like Duval County. Below are some things you can do to address these hazards:
- Consider installing storm shutters for all large windows and glass doors
- Consider a new roof with hurricane-rated shingles
- Make sure roof is fastened to the structure with hurricane straps or clips
- Install head and foot bolts on double-entry doorways
- Use a security deadbolt with one-inch minimum bolt on all exterior doors
- Consider a hurricane-resistant or reinforced garage door
FLOOD & STORM SURGE
- Keep gutters and drains free of debris
- Stockpile emergency protective materials
- Elevate water heater, electric panel, and heating/cooling systems if susceptible to flooding
- Dry Floodproofing, which means making a building watertight through the use of waterproof membranes, backflow valves, and other measures
- Wet Floodproofing, which means modifying uninhabited portions of your home to allow floodwaters to enter and exit
Take the time now to consider the impact that tropical-storm force winds will have on your home. Below are some things to consider when making preparations. Consult a qualified professional or licensed contractor if you have questions or concerns.
Things to know:
- When was your home built?
- Is your home located in an evacuation or flood zone?
- How many stories is your home?
- How strong are your walls?
- What kind of roof do you have?
Manufactured and Mobile Homes:
Preparing Your Boat
- Anchors are required per Florida Law
- Check tie-downs at least once a year. Review Florida Administrative Code 15C-1 for tie-down requirements.
- No matter how good your tie-downs are, evacuating is the best plan to save your life.
- Don’t forget that utility/storage sheds, carports, and other vulnerable structures need to be secured.
If you own a boat, you need to have a plan for severe weather for your specific boat, local environment, and available safe havens. When a storm is approaching, quick action is needed.
- Practice how to secure your boat in the marina
Minimize Financial Hardship
- Check your lease or boat storage agreement
- Know your responsibilities and liabilities
- Gather important records and insurance policies
- Have a photo of your boat and the Hull ID Number
- Know how to contact the harbor master and Coast Guard
- Listen to local officials for specific boat evacuation instructions
- DO NOT stay aboard a vessel during a storm
- Remove all objects that could become unsecured: canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, biminis, etc.
- Lash down everything you cannot remove: tillers, wheels, booms
- Make sure the electrical system is turned off
- Remove the battery and portable fuel
Financial preparedness is critical. Take time to organize your financial documents and keep extra copies with your supply kit. Contact your insurance agent and ensure you are covered for hurricane-related hazards. Flood insurance must be purchased separately!
PLEASE NOTE: a flood insurance policy generally takes effect 30 days after purchase. Do not wait until the last minute to obtain this coverage!
Make an inventory of your personal assets and keep it in a safe, dry place. If possible, take photos and video of your belongings and keep them with you during the event of an emergency.
Be sure that you keep cash on hand as power outages may prevent access to ATMs and may limit the use of credit/debit cards.
TIP: Don’t forget to set aside funds to pay your hurricane deductible.
Organize Disaster Supplies
Your emergency supply kit should have enough supplies to last seven days for every person in your family, including a plan for yearly maintenance. For a list of suggested items to include in your kit, see pages 7-8.
Plan to be Safe
Planning ahead is the best way to stay safe from disasters. Plan for all hazards that could affect you, especially large-scale disasters like hurricanes. Every family is unique, so be sure to consider everyone’s needs. Get together with your family and review your plan every year. Some things to consider are:
PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS
- Who is your out-of-town contact?
- Does your plan incorporate your entire household?
- Have you shared your plan with others?
- What is your escape plan?
- Where will you meet?
- How will you communicate with your family in the event of an emergency?
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. Ensuring that you have a plan in place will help minimize disruptions and unnecessary losses.
Plan and prepare your:
Evacuate or Shelter in Place?
Preparation tips when a hurricane is expected
DECIDING TO STAY OR GO
- Review your family emergency plan
- Refill prescription medications
- Trim or remove trees that are close enough to fall and cause damage to your home or property
- Check for weather updates regularly on your TV, radio, or online
- Bring loose, lightweight objects indoors, such as patio furniture and garbage cans
- Anchor objects that are unsafe to bring indoors
- Purchase supplies to board-up windows if you do not have storm shutters
- Gas and service your vehicles
If you are in a Mandatory Evacuation Zone, take action immediately. If you are not in a Mandatory Evacuation Zone, you may choose to stay in your home. Keep in mind, you may only need to travel a short distance to safely evacuate. Moving to a non-evacuation zone may be sufficient.
IF YOU DECIDE TO EVACUATE
I-95 and I-10 are the main evacuation routes out of the county. Beaches residents and visitors should connect from the Wonderwood Expressway, Atlantic Boulevard, Beach Boulevard, and J. Turner Butler Boulevard to reach I-95 and I-10 (see back cover for map). Evacuation routes may be crowded, so plan ahead.
FINAL ACTIONS IF EVACUATING
Turn off propane tanks and gas
Turn off power at main electric panel using main switch or flip all circuit breakers to the “off” position
Turn off the main water valve at the street or inside your unit if in an apartment or condominium
Secure all doors and windows
Take your Emergency Supply Kit with you
IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY
Keep in mind that you may not be able to leave your home for several days. Emergency responders may not be able to get to you if conditions are poor. Frequently check for weather updates on your TV, radio, or online.
FINAL ACTIONS IF STAYING
Move your vehicle to higher ground, a garage, or another safe location
Fully charge your cell phone in case you lose power
Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and only open when necessary
Close storm shutters and stay away from windows and exterior doors
Safety Tip: Never use a generator inside or in any partially enclosed area.
Evacuation shelters are a refuge of last resort and should only be considered if you need to evacuate and have no other options. If you can safely shelter in place, stay with friends or family, or stay in a hotel, it is recommended that you do so.
If your only option is to stay at a shelter, you should bathe and eat before securing your home and relocating. Residents are encouraged to bring their own food, pillows, and bedding. Do not bring any valuables with you. Smoking and/or alcohol consumption is not permitted at any shelter. Additionally, childcare is not provided at any shelter; you are required to supervise your children.
Do not go to a shelter until it has been announced that it is open.
Not all shelters will open. Check JaxReady.com, the JaxReady app, and local news outlets for a current list of openings.
Register with shelter staff and check out before you leave. Be considerate of others.
Bring your emergency supply kit with you. Only basic necessities are provided.
GENERAL POPULATION SHELTERS
General population shelters are managed by the American Red Cross and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pet-friendly shelters provide shelter to evacuees and their pets. Only household pets, including dogs, cats, birds and rabbits, are allowed in pet-friendly shelters.
What Should You Bring to a Shelter?
SHELTER HEALTH AND SAFETY RULES
- Air mattress, blankets, pillows, or other bedding
- Food, water, and medication
- Important papers
- Your emergency supply kit (see pages 7-8)
SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS SHELTERS
- Treat everyone with respect
- Respect all health and safety protocols—they protect everyone
- Sanitize your belongings regularly (electronics, toys)
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces, such as handrails, as much as possible. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- No weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol or smoking
- Place all tissues and waste items into trash bins
- Comply with health checks at entry and while in shelter
- If you feel ill, see a staff member immediately
- The shelter is subject to quarantine by public health officials
A special medical needs shelter is a designated structure that has backup power and is capable of providing safe refuge for evacuees who have health conditions that require basic assistance or supervision from a medical professional during a disaster. These shelters are managed by the Florida Department of Health in Duval County.
Things to Consider:
- A caregiver must accompany any individual requiring more than basic assistance
- Individuals with special dietary needs should bring their own food
- You must PRE-REGISTER every year if you plan to stay at a special needs shelter
TIP: If you are staying at a special medical needs shelter, turn on a porch light before you leave your house so workers can tell when your power has been restored and it is safe for you to return home
SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS REGISTRATION
Who needs to register?
The Special Medical Needs Registry is for individuals that may need to seek shelter during an emergency that may have the following medical needs:
• Medically dependent on electricity
• Require oxygen therapy
• Assistance taking daily medications
• Basic assistance from medical professionals for physical, cognitive, or medical condition
How do I register myself or someone I care for?
Visit coj.net/specialmedicalneeds to register online or call 904-255-3172 for assistance.
What is provided at a Special Medical Needs Shelter?
• Basic medical assistance
• Food essentials
Do I need to bring a caregiver with me?
A caregiver is required for memory impaired clients. However, we encourage all clients to bring caregivers, if available.
Can I bring my pet with me?
Only service animals are allowed to accompany you to the shelter.
What are the transportation options to the shelters?
Jacksonville Transportation Authority will coordinate transportation with Special Medical Needs clients through the Emergency Operations Center during a disaster.
REMINDER: You must register every year to maintain your Special Medical Needs status.
JaxReady and JTA - Partners in Preparedness
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has been a trusted resource in our community since 1955, first as an expressway authority, and for the past 52 years as the public transportation provider in Northeast Florida. The responsibility you have entrusted us with goes beyond the daily bus trips and the roads we build in your neighborhood.
Throughout the year, the JTA has proven to be a valuable community partner by supporting the region with transportation resources above and beyond our regular services. Whether it is providing cooling buses during large events, transporting residents to shelter locations in emergency situations or delivering essential items for our neighbors suffering from the devastating effects of hurricanes, the JTA is always at the ready to serve those in need. Our coordinated response to severe weather is part of that responsibility. The more than 800 JTA employees who call Jacksonville home stand ready to help our friends, families and neighbors during a severe weather event.
In the days leading up to, during, and after the storm, the JTA works collaboratively with the City of Jacksonville Emergency Operations Center, JEA, Beaches Energy, the Beaches Communities and Baldwin to ensure your family has the resources you need.
When an evacuation order is issued, the JTA provides free transportation to local shelters until it is no longer safe to do so. This includes JTA buses and transportation resources for those with special needs. During that time, you will see JTA buses marked “Evacuation Shuttles” stationed at designated pick-up locations at the Beaches and Baldwin that will take you to local shelters. Additional Evacuation Shuttles will also be deployed on JTA bus routes for those who do not live in those areas.
The JTA is proud to support our first responders, police, firefighters, utility crews with transportation as they respond to critical needs in your neighborhoods.
As you prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season and build your emergency kits, know that the JTA will be there for you during times of need. You can locate these and other resources in this Guide, and at www.jtafla.com. Thank you for putting your trust in the JTA.
Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.
JTA Chief Executive Officer
ASSISTANCE WITH TRANSPORTATION
If you need transportation assistance to evacuate, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) will suspend fares for evacuation routes. If you plan to evacuate, be ready to evacuate early as these services will stop as conditions deteriorate.
- JTA will operate on a reduced schedule for normal routes
- All fixed route bus and First Coast Flyer BRT stops will become evacuation pick-up points to transport individuals to hubs
- Residents needing to evacuate can take any bus marked “Evacuation Shuttle” on a regular bus route before the announced cut-off time
- Residents can also go to any one of the four designated pick-up locations to be transported to a transfer hub, where you will then change buses to be transported to a public shelter:
- Fletcher High School
- Mayport Middle School
- Baldwin Middle-High School
- Jacksonville Beach Elementary
More information can be found at jtafla.com/severeweather or by calling (904) 630-3100.
POST-DISASTER SAFETY TIPS
If you evacuated, wait for public officials to announce that it is safe before you return home. Each year, there are a significant number of injuries while cleaning up after a storm. Consider the following tips to stay safe after a storm:
AVOID DRIVING: Following a storm, traffic signals may not be working or there may be downed powerlines and trees. Only drive if necessary.
AVOID FLOODWATERS: Avoid driving or wading through floodwaters as they may be electrically charged, contain dangerous debris, or be covering places where the ground has washed away.
CHECK FOR DANGER: Check the outside of your home for loose powerlines, gas leaks, or structural damage. Do not enter a building until it has been inspected.
PROTECT YOURSELF: Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and masks, to shield yourself from debris and airborne hazards.
PREVENT FURTHER DAMAGE: Do what you can to prevent further damage to your home, such as placing a tarp over a hole in the roof or covering a broken window.
AVOID ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT: Do not use electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water.
CLEAN AND DISINFECT everything that got wet as floodwaters can contain sewage, bacteria, and chemicals.
THROW AWAY any food that was not maintained at a proper temperature or may have been exposed to floodwaters.
REMEMBER THE COIN IN FREEZER TRICK. If the coin is on top of the frozen cup of water, then the contents of your freezer stayed frozen and are safe for consumption. If the coin has moved, the contents may be questionable and should be thrown away.
AIR OUT your home by opening doors and windows whenever you are present and conditions are safe.
MOVE OUT saturated, porous materials such as upholstered furniture or mattresses, especially if there is visible fungal growth.
CLEAN OUT and disinfect any remaining debris and mud in your home. If your home is damaged from a storm, first contact your insurance company or agent. You may need to contact a professional to dry out your home or tear out flooring, drywall, insulation, or other materials that were saturated by floodwaters.
Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes. Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide. This is a poison you cannot see or smell.
SEPARATING STORM DEBRIS
- NEVER use a generator inside a home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
- ONLY use a generator outside and 20 feet from windows, doors, and vents. Point the exhaust away from your home.
Construction & Demolition / Bulky Waste Debris - Building materials, carpet, drywall, fencing, furniture, lumber, mattresses, plumbing
Vegetative Debris - Leaves, logs, plants, tree branches, bag leaves for weekly pick-up (5 cubic yards/30 bags). Do not put vegetative debris in City issued trash or recycling carts
Routine Household Waste
PLEASE NOTE: Tree contractors are required to haul away resulting debris and properly dispose of it per Ordinance Sec. 380.206
DEBRIS SEPARATION: Separate debris into the four categories shown above. Failure to keep debris separated by type may prevent workers from collecting it.
WHERE TO PLACE DEBRIS: Debris should be placed curbside without blocking the roadway or storm drains. Place debris at least three feet from all obstacles. Do not stack or lean debris against utility boxes/poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants, or other structures. Do not place debris under trees or power lines.
WHEN TO PLACE DEBRIS: Debris should be placed curbside as soon as safely possible after the storm to ensure efficient removal. Storm recovery crews make multiple passes, targeting areas with the heaviest debris first.
DO NOT BURN DEBRIS: Burning storm debris is a violation of Jacksonville’s year-round burn ban. Citizens can report this violation to 630-CITY (2489) by phone or online at myjax.custhelp.com.
The City of Jacksonville Mosquito Control Division expects an increase in mosquitoes, usually one week after a major storm event. In response, the City provides effective mosquito control while protecting public health and the environment. Follow these tips to protect yourself from mosquitoes after a storm:
- Cover bare skin with insect repellent
- Wear long sleeves and pants when outside
- Consider staying indoors
- Check and repair screens on windows and doors
- Drain standing water to prevent mosquito breeding sites
- Remove debris and water from rain gutters and downspouts
Visit coj.net/mosquito for more information.
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY AND HOME
Ensuring that you are prepared in case of a fire, big or small, can save you and your loved ones lives when seconds matter. Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your home and your family by taking the following steps.
1. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and test them at least every six months.
2. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to use the fire extinguisher and knows where it is located.
3. Double-check that all appliances are shut off after use and never leave food unattended on the stove.
4. Identify and practice escape routes from each room in your home several times per year.
5. Designate a rallying point to meet in the event of a house fire.
6. Don’t forget to include your pets in your plans!
7. Make sure everyone in your home knows how to shut off the gas, water, and electricity at the main switches.
JACKSONVILLE FIRE AND RESCUE DEPARTMENT
SMOKE DETECTOR PROGRAM
The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department will provide and install a free smoke detector for any qualifying Jacksonville resident living in a single-family or two-family residence. The department also will install replacement batteries in existing smoke detectors at no charge.
Smoke detectors help save lives by warning residents of a fire in time to escape.
For a free smoke detector or to arrange to have the batteries in an existing device replaced, call 904-630-CITY (2489).
Use a portable fire extinguisher when a fire is confined to a small area, such as a trashcan, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
P - Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
A - Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
S - Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
S - Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
LITHIUM BATTERY SAFETY
Lithium-ion batteries power many portable consumer electronics and electric vehicles. In normal applications, these batteries are safe, but if damaged or overheated, they can cause fires. Use the following safety precautions:
- Don’t use off brand products
- Follow manufacturer’s guidelines on charging
- Keep away from hot surfaces and flammable materials
- Provide airflow ( example: don’t wrap in a blanket or under pillow)
- Don’t use cords that show damage
- Look for UL certified products
- If it feels hot to the touch, stop using or charging immediately
- Call 9-1-1 if you see smoke or flames
TIP: Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.
TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT FIRE SAFETY
- Teach your children how and when to call 911.
- Make sure they know what your home smoke detector sounds like and where to go if the alarm goes off.
- Make sure your children know your family meeting place.
- Teach your children to never play with fire.
Cyber crimes are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. These crimes can lead to the loss of money or the theft of personal, financial and medical information. They can damage your reputation and safety. Technology is an ever-increasing part of our lives. While it makes many things more accessible, it also comes with risks. Protect yourself and your loved ones by taking the following steps:
HOW CYBER CRIMES OCCUR
- Accessing your personal computers, mobile phones, gaming systems and other internet- and Bluetooth connected devices.
- Damaging your financial security, including identity theft.
- Blocking your access or deleting your personal information and accounts.
- Complicating your employment or business services.
- Impacting transportation and the power grid.
PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST CYBER CRIMES
- Limit the personal information you share online. Change privacy settings and do not use location features.
- Keep software applications and operating systems up-to-date.
- Create strong passwords by using upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Use a password manager and two methods of verification.
- Watch for suspicious activity that asks you to do something right away, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or needs your personal information.
- Protect your home and/or business using a secure Internet connection and Wi-Fi network, and change passwords regularly.
- Don’t share PINs or passwords. Use devices that use biometric scans when possible (e.g. fingerprint scanner or facial recognition).
- Check your account statements and credit reports regularly.
- Be cautious about sharing personal financial information, such as your bank account number, Social Security number or credit card number.
- Use antivirus and anti-malware solutions, and firewalls to block threats.
- Back up your files regularly in an encrypted file or encrypted file storage device.
- Do not click on links in texts or emails from people you don’t know. Scammers can create fake links to websites.
- Remember that the government will not call, text or contact you via social media about owing money.
- Keep in mind that scammers may try to take advantage of financial fears by calling with work-from-home opportunities, debt consolidation offers and student loan repayment plans.
TIP: Let federal, state and local authorities know if you believe you have been a victim of a cyber crime.
As we have seen over the last several years, terrorism remains a threat to our nation. People with political or social causes may use extreme violence to make a statement or achieve some other political goal. To combat the threat of terrorism, emergency service officials across all levels of government continue to work together to implement effective strategies for preventing and responding to incidents.
TYPES OF TERRORISM
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
Terrorists look for high visibility targets such as sporting events, political conventions, international airports, and high-profile landmarks
- Call or text to 911 or 1-877-A-THREAT
- Submit a tip, lead, or threat to 888-FLA-SAFE
- Download the Florida See Say App, created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement
TIP: Preparing for a terrorist attack is the same as preparing for fires, hurricanes, and other emergencies.
Keep Emergency Supply Kits
Practice Evacuation Drills and Procedures
Establish a Family Meeting Place
Learn How to Use Fire Extinguishers
Obtain Training in CPR and First Aid
Create an Emergency Communications Plan
IF AN ACT OF TERRORISM AFFECTS OUR COMMUNITY
- Remain calm and be patient
- Follow the advice of local emergency officials
- Monitor local alerts and warnings, and stay tuned to local broadcast media via television and radio for important updates and instructions.
TIP: Be prepared to evacuate or shelter-in-place if instructed to do so by authorities.
The beaches of Duval County use a flag system to inform sunbathers and beach goers of the current ocean conditions. Flags are located along the beach at various boardwalk cross-overs. In the absence of flags, swimmers should use extreme caution when entering the water.
KNOW YOUR BEACH FLAGS
Double Red Flag – Water Closed – Water Activity is Prohibited!
Single Red Flag – High Hazard – Dangerous Ocean Conditions. Don’t go past your knees!
Yellow Flag – Moderate Hazard – Surf and Rip Currents are Present. Ask a lifeguard where to swim!
Green Flag – Calm Conditions – Never Swim Alone and Always Swim in Front of a Lifeguard!
Purple Flag – Stinging Marine Life – Man O’War, Jellyfish, Stingrays
TIPS TO STAY SAFE IN THE WATER
Never swim alone
Always swim in front of a lifeguard
Heed warnings from lifeguards
Never underestimate the ocean’s strength
Never swim if it is lightning
In case of emergency, call 911 if a lifeguard is not on duty. Do not attempt to rescue someone in distress.
Subscribe to ALERTJAX’s Beach and Ocean Safety notifications! Text DUVALBEACH to 888-777.
RIP CURRENT SAFETY
What are rip currents?
Rip currents are powerful channels of fast-moving water that usually flow away from the shore. Rip currents can occur during both calm and rough conditions. Rip currents claim more lives in Florida than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and lightning combined.
Where do rip currents form?
Typically, rip currents form at breaks in the sandbar, and near structures such as jetties and piers.
What are some clues that a rip current may be present?
- No waves breaking in the area
- Unusual choppiness
- Discoloration of water
- A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving away from the shore
IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT
- Don’t fight the current
- Swim with the current, then to shore
- If you can’t escape, float or tread water
- If you need help, call or yell for assistance
Swimming and other water-related activities that you can enjoy in a pool are excellent ways to enjoy physical activity. However, it is important to know what to do to reduce the risk of injury.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a child unattended near a pool. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
- Designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings.
- Keep a phone at poolside so that you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone and can call for help if needed.
- Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.
- Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
- Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
- Only use proper and approved flotation devices. Do not confuse proper and approved flotation devices with toys.
- If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count!
When children in your care are near water, be near them. Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in protecting those in their care.
MARINE WEATHER TERMINOLOGY
Small Craft Exercise Caution – Winds 15-20 kts and/or seas of 6 ft
Small Craft Advisory – Winds 20-33 kts and/or seas > 7ft
Gale Warning – Wind Speed 34-47 kts or frequent gusts 34-47 gusts
Storm Warning – Wind Speed 48-63 kts or gusts 48-63 kts
Special Marine Warning – Winds > 34 kts and/or ¾ inch hail and/or waterspouts
Tropical Storm Warning – Wind speeds > 34-63 kts with a tropical cyclone imminent
Hurricane Warning – Wind speeds > 64 kts with a tropical cyclone imminent
SAFETY ITEMS TO BRING
Life jackets for everyone on board the vessel
A noise producing device
Type iv throwable personal flotation device
Visual distress signal
Anyone operating a vessel born after January 1, 1988, must have a Florida Boating Safety ID Card. Visit www.myfwc.com to learn more.
Anyone 13 years old or younger is not permitted to operate a personal watercraft.
INFORMATION & REFERRAL HOTLINES
City Customer Service
City of Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division
United Way (211)
FREE Helpline: 2-1-1
United Way 211 helpline connects people of all ages and walks of life to essential health, human and social services. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the service connects callers for free to trained resource specialists who provide available information on over 1,200 community services and resources. United Way 211 is also the suicide intervention and prevention helpline for Northeast Florida and is nationally accredited by the American Association of Suicidology. For more information on 211 or to access the online database, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-help. To get help now, dial 2-1-1, text HELLO to 211904, or call (904) 632-0600 on your cell phone or landline.
FOOD & SHELTER
American Red Cross
Feeding Northeast Florida
(Food Distribution Location Information)
The Salvation Army
(Food and Shelter Information)
Salvation Army Relief Drive:
Items often needed include non-perishable food, dry goods, diapers, formula, and hygiene items. NO CLOTHES. Drop off at 41 North Davis Street, Jacksonville, FL 32204.
If you are an organization or group with volunteer interests, email United Way of Northeast Florida at firstname.lastname@example.org. For individual volunteer opportunities, please visit unitedwaynefl.org/volunteer. Individuals interested in volunteering for disaster relief are encouraged to pre-register at the previously mentioned website and select: “Contact me in the event of a disaster.”
MENTAL & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Disaster Distress Helpline
(800) 985-5990 (call or text)
Florida Blue 24-Hour Helpline
Behavioral Health Treatment Directory
(800) 662-HELP (4357)
Or visit FindTreatment.gov
FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
(800) 621-FEMA (3362)
(800) 462-7585 (TTY)
TRANSITIONAL SHELTERING ASSISTANCE:
Please visit femaevachotels.com.
PROPERTY DAMAGE AS A RESULT OF A HURRICANE:
Contact FEMA at the phone numbers listed above or visit disasterassistance.gov.
: If a building is in a floodplain and is substantially damaged (50% or more of the building value), it MUST be brought into compliance with local floodplain management regulations. All property owners should check with local building officials to determine if permits for repair are required BEFORE beginning work. There can be serious consequences for not complying with the permitting process.
UTILITIES CABLE TV & PHONE
CABLE TV & PHONE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What evacuation zone am I in?
The JaxReady app will tell you which evacuation zone you are in based on your current location. You can also find your evacuation zone by entering your address on the JaxReady app or at JaxReady.com.
When should I evacuate?
Always follow evacuation orders from local officials. If you are in a Mandatory Evacuation Zone, take action immediately. If you do not feel safe, seek shelter elsewhere. If you do plan to evacuate, do so as early as possible. Keep in mind that you may not need to travel a far distance to safely evacuate. Moving to a non-evacuation zone may be sufficient.
If I do not evacuate, can I still get help?
Emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you during a disaster. Roads may be inaccessible due to water, debris, or other hazards. Emergency responders will follow mandatory evacuation orders and may not be able to help those who do not evacuate.
Where are shelters located?
Duval County has numerous evacuation shelters, most of which are located in schools. Keep in mind that not all shelters will be open. Do not go to a shelter until it is announced that it is open. Open shelter locations can be found on the JaxReady app or by visiting JaxReady.com.
When will bridges close?
Wind conditions at area bridges are monitored closely. If sustained winds exceed 40 miles per hour, affected bridges will be closed.
Are City services interrupted?
Depending on the severity of the incident, services such as garbage collection may be delayed. Check for announcements regarding potential interruptions.
Does homeowners or renters’ insurance cover flood damage?
No. Standard homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies do not cover damages caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary to protect against flood losses. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For more information on flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP directly at (800)427-4661 or floodsmart.gov.
Should I purchase flood insurance?
There is typically a 30-day waiting period following the purchase of flood insurance. Additionally, insurance policies cannot be written or modified once a storm impacts the Gulf of Mexico or western Atlantic. Contact your insurance agent today to ensure that you are covered.
How can I protect myself from contractor fraud?
Only hire a licensed contractor. Be cautious of anyone coming to your home uninvited and offering to do repairs. Obtain a written estimate or contract for work to be completed. Do not pay in full before work begins or pay the final balance until work is completed to your satisfaction. Do not pull permits for the contractor, as this may be an indication that they are not properly licensed. Visit myfloridalicense.com to check if a contractor is licensed. Report potential fraud to the State of Florida Consumer Fraud hotline at (866) 966-7226.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS
Following a declared disaster, all active-duty military, reserve, and civilian employees are required to log in to their respective web-based Accountability and Assessment System to muster, identify their new location, and provide updated contact information. If your family is impacted by a disaster, complete a needs assessment. A family support representative will contact you.
FOR ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, AND COAST GUARD
1. Upon reporting to your new unit or if any of your information changes, log in to your Accountability and Assessment System and update it.
2. Following a disaster, terrorist, or mandatory evacuation event, proceed to a safe location/haven and report your status and whereabouts ASAP to your Chain of Command via immediate supervisor or Command Duty Officer.
3. If unable to contact your command, log onto NFAAS and muster self & family.
4. If unsuccessful, contact Navy Personnel Command Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) at (877) 414-5358.
5. When directed, complete a needs assessment.
Army (ADPAAS): adpaas.army.mil
Navy (NFAAS): navyfamily.navy.mil
Air Force (AFPAAS): hafpaas.af.mil
Coast Guard (CGPAAS): cgpaas.uscg.mil
FOR THE MARINE CORPS
1. Before departing, log in to MOL at mol.usmc.mil and
update your information.
2. During an emergency or displacement, proceed to your designated safe haven as required by evacuation protocol. Once you arrive, log in to MOL and select the applicable disaster event code, accountability code, and adjust the planned location address. Contact your chain-of-command to let them know you are safe.
3. After the storm, terminate the accountability requirement and return to your home. The Marine will select the “000” disaster event code and update the planned location address if applicable.
NAVY AND MARINE CORPS CONTACTS
- Ready Navy: ready.navy.mil
- Ready Marine Corps: ready.marines.mil
- Navy Personnel Command Emergency Coordination Center: (877) 414-5358
- DON Civilian Employee Assistant Program Helpline: (844) DONCEAP
- Individual Augmentee Family Helpline: (877) 364-4302
- Navy-Marine Relief Society (NMCRS): (800) 654-8364 or call the American Red Cross for after-hours support at (877) 272-7337
- Jacksonville NMCRS: (904) 542-3515
- Mayport NMCRS: (904) 270-5418 ext. 1504
- Kings Bay NMCRS: (912) 573-3928
- N.S. Mayport Info: (855) 891-6306
- N.A.S. Jacksonville Info: (800) 849-6024
- N.S.B. Kings Bay Info: (912) 573-4513
- Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island Information Line: (904) 696-4810
COAST GUARD SECTOR JAX
AND NATIONAL GUARD CONTACTS
- Coast Guard Mutual Assistance: cgmahq.org; (800) 881-2462
- Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center: (904) 714-7561 or (904) 714-7558
- Florida National Guard Family Programs: fl.ng.mil or (800) 226-0360
- National Guard Bureau Family Program Hotline: (877) 777-7731
- Florida Army National Guard, Headquarters, St. Augustine Information Line: (904) 823-0364
- Florida Air National Guard, 125th Fighter Wing Command Post: (904) 741-7125
ARMY AND AIR FORCE CONTACTS
- Ready Army: ready.army.mil
- Ready Air Force: beready.af.mil
- Army Well-Being Division Helpline: (800) 833-6622
- Air Force Personnel Center: afpc.af.mil
- Air Force Helpdesk: (800) 525-0102
- Army Emergency Relief: aerhq.org
- Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Society: aafmaa.com
- General Website: tricare.mil
- East Region: Humana Military; tricare-east.com; (800) 444-5445
- West Region: Health Net; tricare-west.com; (844) 866-9378
TO REQUEST THIS GUIDE IN AN ALTERNATE FORMAT, PLEASE CONTACT THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DIVISION AT (904) 255-3110.