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Emergency Preparedness Guide

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 2021-2022 guide is available below for translation into multiple languages (please utilize the Google Translate tab at the top of this page).

PDF Version

Download PDF version of the 2021-2022 by clicking on this link. 

Text Only Version 
Preparedness Guide Cover

Message from the Mayor:

Dear Citizens:

Founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” As the last year has shown us, it pays to be ready for hazards of all kinds. When COVID-19 came to our community in March 2020, Jacksonville responded quickly by ramping up testing capabilities and providing valuable and needed assistance to help our citizens weather the pandemic.

Because of the planning and preparations the City took on the front-end, we were better able to respond and be on a better footing to recover more quickly than many other major U.S. cities.

Now as hurricane season begins, we must also look ahead and prepare for other emergencies that may head our way. 

Every year, the City of Jacksonville publishes this Emergency Preparedness Guide with important information and tools designed to help citizens 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.

I encourage you and your family to be JaxReady this year and every year, and to use this guide as a resource.

Stay Safe,
Lenny Curry
Mayor

 

CONTENTS

Public Safety Information
  • Basic First Aid
  • Active Shooter Response
  • Important Alert Systems
Disease Outbreak
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting
  • What to do if you are sick
  • How to wash your hands the right way
COVID-19 Recovery Resources
  • Local Help Lines
  • Financial Recovery Resources (Individuals/Families)
  • Financial Recovery Resources (Businesses)
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Seniors
  • Veterans
Know the Hazards
  • Thunderstorms & Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires
  • Warm & Cold Weather
  • Beach Safety
  • Hurricanes & Tropical Storms
  • Flooding
  • House Fires
  • Terrorism
  • Cybersecurity
Before the Storm
  • Sign Up for Alerts and
  • Emergency Notifications
  • Protect Your Home from Storm Damage
  • Make a Disaster Preparedness Plan
  • Build an Emergency Supply Kit
During the Storm
  • Should You Evacuate or Stay?
  • Evacuation Shelters
  • Special Needs Registration
  • Storm Safety for Your Pets
After the Storm

Introduction: The City of Jacksonville and JEA - Partners in Preparedness
 

Letter from JEA Managing Director and CEO, Jay Stowe

Dear JEA Customers:,
 
I came to JEA last November after having spent most of my career in the public utility industry. In my short time here, I can say without a doubt the 2,000 JEA team members who serve you and our community make up the most dedicated and hard-working team I’ve had the privilege to work alongside. Their commitment to preparation for crisis situations means we are prepared for any storm that may come your way.   
 
In recent years, JEA has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to harden our electric, water and wastewater infrastructure to better withstand storm-related disruptions. These critical repairs and improvements help us restore power and resume normal operations more quickly after a major storm or natural disaster and minimize any storm-related inconvenience for you. We believe trimming trees today, prevents power outages tomorrow. We trim responsibly, under the direction of the certified arborists we employ.  
 
Along with tree trimming and a hardened infrastructure, JEA team members train year-round to deal with emergencies at a moment’s notice. Before hurricane season, we work with the City of Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division to practice response coordination. During the season, we continually monitor weather conditions and work with local and state officials to prepare for and assess potential storm impacts.
 
During a storm, and throughout the restoration process, the JEA Emergency Operations Center operates around the clock. Once the storm passes and weather reports indicate it is safe, we enter the restoration phase of our emergency operations. Our “Restoration 1-2-3” process is designed to assess and repair critical infrastructure and restore power to you and our community as quickly and safely as possible. You’ll find more details about our restoration process later in this guide.
 
We realize that COVID-19 continues to impact our lives. The ongoing pandemic means that even this hurricane season may look different from past seasons. Regardless of the season or the storm, know that JEA is committed to being there for you.
 
Whatever comes our way, we will get through it together.
 
Sincerely,
Jay Stowe
JEA Managing Director and CEO

 PUBLIC SAFETY INFORMATION

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

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
HEAD, NECK AND BACK INJURIES
  • Call 911
  • Hold Still
  • Watch for vomiting
  • May have unequal pupils
CONTROLLING BLEEDING
  • Call 911
  • Apply direct pressure
  • Elevate injured area
  • Wrap with bandage
  • Tip: Use tourniquet if needed
AIDING FRACTURES
  • Help/Support area
  • Check pulses& sensation
  • Apply ice or a cold pack
  • Immobilize the area
  • Treat for shock
COVID-19 EMERGENCY WARNING SIGNS
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Active Shooter Response

  • CALL 911
  • Run, Hide, Fight
  • Text 911 only when safe
  • Run and escape if possible
  • Getting away is your top priority
  • Leave behind any belongings
  • Help others if you can but you must escape
  • Warn others to stay away from the area
  • Hide if escape is not possible
  • Stay out of the shooter’s view
  • Silence your electronics
  • Block entrances & turn off lights
  • Groups should spread out when hiding
  • Text to 911 & text message others to silently communicate
  • Stay in place until given the all clear signal

FIGHT AS A LAST RESORT

  • Commit to your actions. Fight. Do not hesitate. Rally others and attack together. Be prepared to inflict severe injury. Throw objects or improvise weapons.
  • Information to give 911
  • Location of the active shooter(s)
  • Number of shooter(s)
  • Physical description of the shooter(s)
  • Number and type of weapons held by shooter(s)
  • Number of potential victims at the location
 
TIP: The very first officers on scene will not stop to help the injured, their top priority is to end the incident. Rescue teams will move in after the first officers. They will treat and move the injured 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 expect to find important emergency information.

JAXREADY APP: Download the JAXREADY app on your smart phone to monitor weather threats and plan to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster. Some of the features of the JAXREADY app include:

  • Evacuation zones based on current location or address
  • Shelter locations and openings
  • Link to special medical needs registration
  • Weather information and maps
  • Wildfire and drought indexes
  • Up-to-date weather forecasts
  • Live weather satellite imagery
  • Current emergency activation level
  • Translation into 78 languages
Download the JAXREADY app today!  Available for iOS and Android devices.

Wireless Emergency Alerts: Authorized government agencies can send short text-like alerts directly to your phone based on your current location. These alerts happen automatically and do not require you to sign up. To manage these alerts, check your phone’s messenger settings. Though most new phones receive these alerts, they are not yet available on all devices. 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 coj.net/ alertjax.

Commercial Media: Listen to local broadcast stations for 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.

WEBSITES 

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. 

COVID-19 INFORMATION

 The City of Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division has been closely monitoring updates related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-per­son in respiratory droplets from someone who is infected. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads and the severity of illness it causes. It is important to remember that risk of getting the disease is directly related to exposure to the virus.

Disease Outbreak

Before a Pandemic
  • Have supplies on hand: pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, and vitamins.
  • Store two weeks worth of supplies
  • Refill your prescription medications
  • Maintain health records in a safe place
  • Consider Vaccinations
 During a Pandemic
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
  • Clean your hands often
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.
  • Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
  • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of
  • getting very sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches,  countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
Vaccines

Vaccines are one of the tools we have to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. To stop this pandemic, we need to use all of our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
  • Vaccines are safe. The US vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years.
  • Different types of COVID-19 vaccines will be available. Most of these vaccines are given in two shots, one at a time and spaced apart. The first shot gets your body ready. The second shot is given at least three weeks later to make sure you have full protection.
  • The vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed.
  • When you get the vaccine, you and your healthcare worker will both need to wear masks. CDC recommends that during the pandemic, people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside their household, when in healthcare facilities, and when receiving any vaccine, including a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet away from other people you do not live with.
Additional guidance may be released at the direction of the CDC.
 

COVID-19 RECOVERY RESOURCES

Local Help Lines

MyJax is your connection to city services and information. Submit a request for service, check the status of your request or find answers to city related questions by calling the 630-City Help Line at 904-630-2489 or by visiting myjax.custhelp.com/

United Way of Northeast Florida’s 211 Helpline is available 24/7 to connect Northeast Florida callers to health, social, and human services and more than 4,000 community programs. To contact a 211 call center specialist, dial 2-1-1 or 904-632-0600 from any landline or cell phone. To search the 211 database, visit nefin.myresourcedirectory.com

Financial Recovery Resources (Individuals/Families)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance: Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a federally funded benefit program that assists individuals who become unemployed because of a disaster. Visit floridajobs.org to learn more.

Reemployment Assistance: Individuals who may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance include: (1) those who are quarantined by a medical professional or government agency; (2) those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns; (3) those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19. Visit the DEO website, floridajobs.org for additional resources.

Career Source Northeast Florida (NEFL): The regional workforce development organization, will be making available paper Reemployment Assistance (unemployment) applications from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Call 904-356-JOBS for more information.

Financial Recovery Resources (Businesses)

Small Business Relief and Employee Retention Grant Program: In partnership with VyStar Credit Union, the City of Jacksonville’s COVID-19 Small Business Relief and Employee Retention Grant program will provide low-cost loans with less stringent underwriting requirements and flexible repayment terms. To apply, interested businesses and nonprofits should visit VyStarCU.org/CoronaVirus and fill out the application.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. Visit disasterloan.sba.gov to learn more.

Mental Health Resources

Family Foundations: Counseling for families and individuals and a comprehensive set of mental health services to youth, adults, seniors, individuals, and families in need of affordable mental health and family counseling services. Please call 904-396-4846.

Jewish Family & Community Services: Counseling for families, couples, and individuals as well as mental health services to children, adults, seniors and families coping with challenges. Please call 904-448-1933.

Mental Health Resource Center: Psychiatric medication management and counseling for adults; short-term psychiatric stabilization services for adults and children who are experiencing a mental health crisis; comprehensive assessments, psychiatric evaluations, physical examinations, medication management and individual and group therapy. Please call 904-695-9145 or 904-642-9100.

Northwest Behavioral Health: Mental health outpatient counseling, day treatment, and case management for children and adults. Please call 904-781-0600 or 904-781-7797.

The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone in Jacksonville: Mental health services via televideo or telephone to post-9/11 veterans, their families, and active duty families. The clinic telephone number, 904-431-3500 will be available during business hours, as before, and veterans, military families and outside organizations can continue to call directly to the clinic for an appointment.

Seniors

ElderSource: Seniors in need of assistance or with questions can call the ElderSource Helpline at 904-391-6699 or 888-242-4464. For more information, individuals can also visit the ElderSource website:myeldersource.org

Senior Services Division: The City of Jacksonville Senior Services Division administers community-wide social service programs serving older adults in Jacksonville/Duval County. For assistance, call the 630-City Help Line at 904-630-2489 to access resources and services.
Veterans

The Fire Watch: The Fire Watch is Northeast Florida’s fight to end veteran suicide and to reinforce Northeast Florida as the most military and veteran friendly region in the United States.Social isolation driven by COVID-19 is a major source of stress for at-risk Veterans. To view the Northeast Florida Military & Veterans Resource Guide visit: www.thefirewatch.org.

KNOW THE HAZARDS

WEATHER EVENTS OCCASIONALLY SEEN IN DUVAL COUNTY
 
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. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 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. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike. During a thunderstorm, you should take the following precautions:
  • 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
The City of Jacksonville has lightning warning systems at 5 public parks:
  • Ringhaver Park
  • Losco Regional Park
  • Earl Johnson Park
  • Chuck Rogers Park
  • Patton Park
The sensor for these alarms continuously monitors the atmosphere’s electrostatic energy as far away as 15 miles and evaluates the potential for lightning within an area approximately 2 miles in radius. When the system determines a hazardous condition, the air-horns sound off to provide necessary alerts.

Tornadoes
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 (see page 5).
  • Stay tuned to local weather or listen to your NOAA weather radio.
  • Secure loose objects outdoors or move them inside.
  • 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. 
TORNADO ALERTS
  • WATCH
    • BE PREPARED! Conditions are right for a tornado to form. Make sure you have a way to receive weather alerts and know your safe space.
  • WARNING
    • A tornado has been sighted in your area. TAKE ACTION!
 Severe Thunderstorm Risk Categories
1 - Marginal
(MRGL)
Isolated severe storms possible
Limited in duration and/or coverage and/or intensity
  • Winds 40-60 mph
  • Hail up to 1”
  • Low tornado risk
2 - Slight
(SLGT)
Scattered severe storms possible
Short-lived and/or not widespread, isolated intense storms possible
  • One or two tornadoes
  • Reports of strong winds/wind damage
  • Hail ~1”, isolated 2”
3 - Enhanced
(ENH)
Numerous severe storms possible
More persistent and/or widespread, a few intense
  • A few tornadoes
  • Several reports of wind damage
  • Damaging hail, 1-2”
4 - Moderate
(MDT)
Widespread severe storms likely
Long-lived, widespread and intense
  • Strong tornadoes
  • Widespread wind damage
  • Destructive hail, 2”+
5 - High
(HIGH)
Widespread severe storms expected
Long-lived, very widespread and particularly intense
  • Tornado outbreak
  • Derecho (widespread, long-lived wind storms)
WeatherSTEM
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

Wildfires
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:
  • 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
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY AND HOME
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and test them at least every six months
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and test the batteries regularly
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to use the fire extinguisher and knows where it is located
  • Identify and practice escape routes from each room in your home
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to shut off the gas, water and electricity at the main switches
  • Designate a rallying point to meet in the event of a house fire
  • Remember to include your pet(s) in your plan(s)
Warm & Cold Weather
EXTREME HEAT
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.
EXTREME COLD
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.
Beach Safety
The beaches in Duval County use a flag system to inform swimmers 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.

Warning Flags
Double Red: Water Closed to Public
Red: High Hazard
Red: High Surf and/or Strong Currents
Orange: Medium Hazard, Moderate Surf and/or Currents
Yellow: Low Hazard
Green: Calm Conditions, Exercise Caution
Purple: Dangerous Marine Life

Heat Emergencies
Heat emergencies pose significant dangers. The body’s temperature can rise dangerously high when humidity combines with hot air temperatures. Make sure to stay cool, drink lots of fluids, apply sunscreen, and wear proper clothing to prevent a heat emergency.
 
Tips To Stay Safe In The Water
  • Never swim alone
  • Always swim with a lifeguard on duty
  • Heed warnings from lifeguards
  • Never underestimate the ocean’s ability
  • Never swim if lightning or a storm is approaching
Rip Currents
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.
Where do rip currents form? Typically, rip currents form at breaks in the sandbar, and also 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 seaward
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
  • WATCH
    • 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.
  • WARNING
    • 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.
HURRICANE MATTHEW - OCTOBER 2016
Although Hurricane Matthew did not make direct landfall in our area, it was a wake-up call to residents about the potential impact of destructive storms. Hurricane Matthew’s destructive forces hit the hardest along the coastline, where storm surge significantly affected Jacksonville Beach.
 
HURRICANE IRMA - SEPTEMBER 2017
Although Hurricane Irma had weakened to a tropical storm when it passed to the west of Duval County, it caused historic flooding throughout the city. Hurricane Irma was a demonstration of what happens to the St. Johns River when a tropical storm pairs with high tide and heavy rains. The water reached record levels and left many low-lying areas flooded for days.
 
Flooding
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.

Urban Flooding
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
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 first hand with Hurricane Irma, which produced significant flooding along the banks of the St. Johns River.

Floodwater Facts
  • 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
EVACUATION ZONES AND FLOOD ZONES ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

Evacuation Zones
  • Are calculated using many factors such as wave action, precipitation, drainage systems, and areas that could become isolated from emergency services.
Flood Zones
  • 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.
HOUSE FIRES – WHAT TO DO
  1. WINDOWS Make sure that windows are not stuck, screens can be taken out quickly, and that security bars can be properly opened. 
  2. ESCAPE ROUTE Find two ways to get out of each room (door or window). 
  3. CALL 911 If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, call 9-1-1 for help. 
  4. SEAL DOORS & VENTS If unable to evacuate, shelter in place, call 9-1-1 to report your location, seal doors or vents if possible. 
  5. FEEL THE DOOR FOR HEAT Feel the doorknob with the back of your hand, if hot, leave door closed and use another way out. 
  6. UTILITIES The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave. 
  7. INVENTORY DAMAGES Maintain an inventory of damaged property and items. Protect valuable documents and records. 
PREPARE YOUR FAMILY AND HOME
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home
  • Identify and practice escape routes from each room in and test them at least every six months  your home 
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and test the batteries 
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to shut regularly  off the gas, water and electricity at the main switches 
  • Make sure everyone in your home knows how to use 
  • Designate a rallying point to meet in the event of a the fire extinguisher and knows where it is located  Remember to include your pets in your plans 
WATER SAFETY
 
Pool Safety
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.
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.
  • Never leave a child unattended near a pool. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
  • Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
  • Designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings. Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
  • 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.
  • Only use proper and approved floatation devices. Do not confuse proper and approved floatation devices with toys.
  • Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • 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.
 
BOAT SAFETY
 
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 > 7 ft
  • Gale Warning -Wind speed 34-47 kts or frequent gusts 34-47 kts
  • Storm Warning- Wind speed 48-63 kts or gusts of 48-63 kts
  • Special Marine Warning -Winds > 34 kts and/ or 3/4 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 onboard the vessel
  • A noise producing device
  • Type IV throwable personal flotation device
  • Fire extinguisher
  • 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.

TERRORISM

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 to 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
  • Arson
  • Bioterrorism
  • Chemical attack
  • Cyberterrorism
  • Shootings
  • Suspicious packages
TIP: Preparing for a terrorist attack is the same as preparing for fires, hurricanes and other emergencies.

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!
 
OBSERVE SURROUNDINGS
Terrorists look for high visibility targets such as sporting events, political conventions, international airports, and high-profile landmarks.
 
REPORT THREATS
  • 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
  • KEEP EMERGENCY SUPPLY KITS
  • LEARN HOW TO USE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
  • PRACTICE EVACUATION DRILLS AND PROCEDURES
  • OBTAIN TRAINING IN CPR AND FIRST AID
  • ESTABLISH A FAMILY MEETING PLACE
  • CREATE AN EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
CYBER CRIME
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:

KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE
  • Keep software and operating systems up-to-date
  • Be sure all internet connected devices are protected
  • Scan USB drives with your anti-virus software before opening files
  • Create backup files
  • Protect your home Wi-Fi network, change the password regularly
PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY
Use complex passwords that are at least twelve characters or longer
  • Do not use the same password with multiple accounts or give out your password to anyone
  • Use two-factor authentication when possible
  • Be careful about asking websites to remember your passwords, especially on shared computers
  • Watch for suspicious activity

BEFORE THE STORM

PREPARATIONS PRIOR TO HURRICANE SEASON
 
Sign Up for Alerts & Emergency Notifications
 
JAXREADY App
Download the JAXREADY app on your smart phone to monitor weather threats and plan to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster. Some of the features of the JAXREADY app include:
  • Evacuation zones based on current location or address
  • Shelter locations and openings
  • Link to special needs registration
  • Weather information and maps
  • Wildfire and drought indexes
  • Up-to-date weather forecast
  • Live weather satellite imagery
  • Current emergency activation level
  • Translation into 78 languages
Download the JAXREADY app today! Available for iOS and Android devices
 
AlertJax Emergency Notifications

WHAT IS 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 county-wide emergencies, including severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service. AlertJax is a free service available to Duval County residents. 
 
SIGN UP FOR NOTIFICATIONS
Register for an account today by visiting coj.net/alertjax. Once your account has been created, you can select how you would like to receive notifications. AlertJax is powered by Everbridge technologies. You can download the Everbridge app for your mobile device in the app store for both iOS and Android devices. 
 
Stay Connected
facebook.com/JaxReady
twitter.com/jaxready
 
Protect Your Property

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. Below are some things you can do to address these hazards:

Wind
  • 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
Minimize Financial Hardship
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.

Get an Insurance Checkup
Check in with your insurance agent well before hurricane season.  Most property insurance policies do not cover flood losses. You will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy if your property is at risk for flooding. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program in participating communities. Consider the following:
 
ASK YOUR AGENT about coverage for the cost of building code upgrades.
INVENTORY THE CONTENTS of your home to speed up the claims process.
TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS and save receipts of items or valuables.
SET ASIDE FUNDS to pay your hurricane deductible.
TO LEARN MORE about flood risks and flood insurance options, visit floodsmart.gov.
 
Make a Plan
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:
  • 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?
 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.
 
Basic Emergency Supply Kit items
  • Water (one gallon per person, per day for at least three days)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • Radio (battery-operated or hand crank and a NOAA Weather Radio)
  • Flashlight (battery-operated or hand crank)
  • Extra batteries 
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone (charger, portable charger and inverter)
  • Prescription medications
  • Eyeglasses/contacts
  • Sanitation items (moist wipes, garbage bags, and plastic ties)
  • Important documents (identification, insurance policies, and account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container)
  • Important telephone numbers
Additional Emergency Supplies
Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Infant needs (formula, food and diapers)
  • Non-prescription medications
  • Matches or firestarter
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Whistle
  • Local and regional  maps
  • Clothing (complete change of clothes appropriate for the weather)
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Sleeping bags and extra blankets
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Two-way radios
  • Activities (books, games, and puzzles)
  • Mess kit (paper towels and plates, and plastic cups and utensils)
COVID - 19 Specific Supply Items
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gloves
  • Face coverings
  • Disinfecting wipes
Emergency Pet Supply Kit
  • Food and water
  • Food and water bowls 
  • Medications
  • Vaccination and registration records
  • Collar or harness with ID tag, rabies tag and leash
  • Plastic bags for pet waste
  • Cat litter and litter tray
  • Paper towels and disinfectant
  • Current photo of you and your pet(s)
  • Comfort items (toys, treats, and bedding)
Maintain Your Kit
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.

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.    

ANIMAL PREPAREDNESS

Small 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 with leashes 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: Identification microchips are highly recommended for all pets. For more information visit coj.net/pets

Large Animal Preparedness

  • 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.
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)

DURING THE STORM

STAYING SAFE DURING A HURRICANE
 
Evacuate or Shelter in Place?
Preparation tips when a hurricane is expected
  • 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    
Deciding to Stay or Go
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
When an evacuation is ordered, I-95 and I-10 may be your routes away from the storm. Beaches residents and visitors may use 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 as individuals from neighboring counties also use these routes to evacuate.
 
FINAL ACTIONS IF EVACUATING
  • Turn off propane tanks and/or 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. Surrounding conditions may impede emergency officials from getting to you even if floodwaters and winds do not directly impact your home. 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 Reminder: Never use a generator, gasoline-powered equipment, grill, camp stove, or charcoal burning device inside or in any partially enclosed area. Keep such devices outside and at least 20 ft. from doors, windows, and vents.
 
FOOD SAFETY
Whether you are evacuating or sheltering in place, the coin in freezer trick can be used to determine if the contents of your freezer thawed during a storm. Fill a cup with water and place it in the freezer. Once the water is frozen solid, place a coin on top and store the cup in the freezer. Upon return to your home, the coin’s location in the cup will determine if your freezer items stayed intact (at the top), partially defrosted (in the middle) or completely defrosted (at the bottom).  As a general rule, when in doubt throw it out!
 
Evacuation Shelters
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, bathe and eat  before securing your home and relocating. Citizens 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.
 
Keep in mind, shelter locations may change from year to year, so do not go to a shelter until it has been announced that it is open. Pay attention to special instructions related to COVID-19.  

GENERAL POPULATION SHELTERS

General population shelters are managed by the American Red Cross and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

SHELTER HEALTH AND SAFETY RULES

  • Treat everyone with respect
  • Respect all health and safety protocols—they protect everyone
  • Maintain 6 feet of separation at all times (except immediate family)
  • Sanitize your own 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
 What Should You Bring to a Shelter?
  • Air mattress, blankets, pillows, or other bedding
  • Food, water, and medication
  • Important papers
  • Games, toys, and books
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Additional safety, hygiene or comfort items
  • Your emergency supply kit (see Emergency Supply Kit section)
SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS SHELTERS
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
  • 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
REMINDER: You must register every year to maintain your Special Medical Needs status.
If you have a health condition and require basic medical assistance during a disaster, contact us today to see if you qualify for Special Medical Needs. Visit our website at coj.net/specialmedicalneeds to complete the special medical needs registration form online or call (904) 630-CITY (2489). YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER if you plan to stay in a Special Medical Needs Shelter.

PET-FRIENDLY SHELTERS
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.   
  • Pets must be current on vaccinations
  • Pets must be properly caged or crated
  • Pets may be sheltered separate from owners
  • Owners are required to care for pets 
PLEASE NOTE: NO REPTILES ARE ACCEPTED
 
What Should You Bring for Your Pet?
  • Your pet emergency supply kit (see page 9)
  • A carrier, crate, kennel, or cage
  • Current vaccination records for your pet
  • A collar on each pet with current ID, city license, and rabies tags

AFTER THE STORM

RECOVERING FROM A HURRICANE
 
Post-Disaster Safety Tips
 
STAY SAFE
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.
 
STAY HEALTHY
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.
 
WHAT TO DO IF A TRAFFIC SIGNAL IS NOT OPERATING
Flashing red : Light  should be treated as a four-way stop.
Flashing YELLOW : Drivers should proceed with caution only when traffic permits.
No Signal Lights: Light should be treated as a four-way stop.
 
Post-storm clean-up
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. 
 
Scam artists are known to target areas that have been impacted by storms. Be cautious of potential scams such as people posing as licensed contractors.  See page 15 for more information.
 
MOSQUITO CONTROL
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.

Recovery Resources

Information & referral hotlines
City Customer Service
(904) 630-CITY (2489)
myjax.custhelp.com
coj.net/recoveryresources          
           
JaxReady
(904) 255-3110
 jaxready.com
 
Food & Shelter                            
United Way (211)
FREE Helpline: 2-1-1
(904) 632-0600
nefl211.org or
unitedwaynefl.org
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.

American Red Cross
1-800-768-8048
(904) 358-8091
redcross.org
(Shelter Information)
 
Feeding Northeast Florida
feedingnefl.org
(Food Distribution
Location Information)
 
The Salvation Army
(904) 356-8641
salvationarmyusa.org/usn
(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.

Mental & Behavioral Health Support
Disaster Distress Helpline
(800) 985-5990 (call or text)
Florida Blue 24-Hour Helpline
(833) 848-1762
Behavioral Health treatment Directory
(800)662-HELP (3362)
Or visit FindTreatment.gov

Property Cleanup
Crisis Clean-Up Hotline
1-800-451-1954
  • Free service (debris removal, muck-out work, tree cutting, etc.)  by volunteers
  • Services are dependent on availability
  • Call to register for services
SCAM WARNING: The Northeast Florida Builders Association warns that people posing as licensed contractors may approach homeowners about doing repairs. Citizens can verify a contractor’s license by contacting the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395 or at myfloridalicense.com. Also, anyone can report unlicensed activity at (866) 532-1440.
 
Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA
1-800-621-FEMA (3662)
1-800-462-7585
fema.gov
 
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. 
 
SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE: 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.
 
Transportation
JTA
(904) 630-3100
jtafla.com
 
Utilities
JEA
1-800-683-5542
(904) 665-6000
jea.com
 
FPL
1-800-468-8243
fpl.com
 
Cable TV & Phone
Comcast
1-800-934-6489
 
AT&T
1-877-377-2478
 
Volunteer Opportunities
If you are an organization or group with volunteer interests, email United Way of Northeast Florida at volunteer@uwnefl.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.”

 
Military Information
 
MILITARY INFORMATION
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.
 
MUSTER INSTRUCTIONS
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
 
MUSTER INSTRUCTIONS
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
  • NS. Mayport Info: (855) 891-6306
  • NAS. Jacksonville Info: (800) 849-6024
  • NSB 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
 TRICARE CONTACTS
  • General Website: tricare.mil
  • East Region: Humana Military; tricare-east.com; (800) 444-5445
  • West Region: Health Net; tricare-west.com; (844) 866-9378
JEA Restoration 1-2-3

How JEA Restores Power After a Storm and How You Can Help
 
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
  • Stay Safe:  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 That We Are 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 is ready to accept outage reports from individual customers.
Phase 2:  Individual Customers
With public safety repairs complete, JEA will announce that we are entering Phase 2 and are now ready to accept outage reports from individual customers. 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:  Call (904) 665-6000 or visit jea.com/outage to report your power outage.
  • If you have already registered for JEA alerts, you can also text “OUT” to MyJEA (69532).
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 will not stop until everyone has power.
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO
If You Still Do Not 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 do not, 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? Please 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 visible 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) 665-6000 to report it.
  • If you are 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) 665-6000.
  • Power up gradually: Turn on your appliances one at a time to prevent power surges.

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.
 
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 1-800-427-4661 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 1-866-966-7226.

Emergency Information (Fill in this section with your personal information)
Evacuation Zone:      
Emergency Meeting Places:

  • In your neighborhood

  • Outside of your neighborhood

  • Out-of-town

Out-of-town Contact:
Name: 
Home Phone #
Work Phone #
Email Address
 
IMPORTANT NUMBERS:
Primary Care Doctor:
Phone #
Address
 
Pharmacy:
Phone #
Address
 
Veterinarian:
Phone #
Address
 
Medications/Prescriptions
 



The following ads are for City of Jacksonville Services and are included in the Emergency Preparedness Guide:

Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department
Smoke Detector Program
 
Smoke detectors help save lives by warning residents of a fire.
 
The Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department provides and  installs a free smoke detector for any qualifying* Jacksonville resident living in a single family or multi-family residence. For a free smoke detector or replacement batteries,  call (904) 630-CITY (2489).
 
*Some exclusions apply. Businesses, contractors and rental properties do not qualify for the smoke detector program.
 
Learn more at myJFRD.com.
  
Be Prepared Before Disaster Strikes
Special Needs Registration
 
If you have a health condition and require basic assistance during a disaster, contact us today to see if you qualify for Special Needs. 
 
Visit our website at coj.net/specialneeds to complete the special needs registration online or call (904) 630-CITY (2489).  
 
You MUST pre-register if you plan to stay in a Special Needs Shelter during an emergency.
 
REMINDER: You must register every year to maintain your special needs status.
 
coj.net/specialneeds or (904) 630-city (2489)
  
Separating Storm Debris
 
DEBRIS SEPARATION: Separate debris into the four categories shown below. Failure to keep debris separated by type may prevent workers from collecting it.
 
- WHITE GOODS/
Appliances
- CONSTRUCTION & DEMOLITION/ BULKY WASTE DEBRIS:  Building Materials, Carpet, Drywall, Fencing, Furniture, Lumber, Mattresses, Plumbing, or Sandbags.
- VEGETATIVE DEBRIS:
Leaves, Logs, Plants, or 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
 
WHERE TO PLACE DEBRIS: Debris should be placed curbside, without blocking the roadway or storm drains. Place debris at least three feet away 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 630city.coj.net.
 
NO PICK-UP ZONE: Debris placed between property and sidewalk, ditch or utility line will not be picked up.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Tree contractors are required to haul away resulting debris and properly dispose of it per ordinance Sec. 380.206.
  
OPEN BURNING IS PROHIBITED
DO NOT BURN YARD WASTE OR STORM DEBRIS.

 
The City of Jacksonville's year-round burn ban prohibits the open burning of yard waste and storm debris. This rule is in addition to the year-round state ban on the burning of household garbage. Burns contained within the confines of a BBQ grill or similar device used solely for cooking purposes are permitted. Report violations by calling (904) 630-CITY (2489) or visiting 630city.coj.net.
 
NEIGHBORHOODS DEPARTMENT
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY DIVISION
(904) 255-7100
coj.net/airquality
  
630-CITY
Where to Go When You Need to Know
 
Whether you are a resident, business owner, or visitor, help is just a click or call away. To better assist us in responding to your request, gather as much info as possible concerning your issue or complaint prior to contacting 630-CITY.
 
Click or Call
- MyJax.coj.net or MyJax Mobile App
- (904) 630-CITY (2489)
 
During an emergency weather event...630-CITY extends its hours to provide answers to your questions and help keep you and your loved ones safe!
  
Animal Care & Protective Services
Storm Safety for Your Pets
 
Do NOT set pets loose. They will not “be OK.”
 
Bring your pets indoors at the first signs of a storm. Conditions could deteriorate quickly.
 
If you have animals that are likely to run and hide, keep them on a leash or in a carrier so that they are safe, secure, and ready to go should you need to evacuate.
 
Put together a grab-and-go emergency pet supply kit. In addition to medications, vaccination records, leash, and favorite toy, include three to four days of pet food and a gallon of bottled water per pet, per day.
 
Understand that at pet-friendly shelters, you will be responsible for the care of your pet.
 
Be Part of the Solution - Spay or Neuter
2020 Forest St.
(904) 630-CITY (2489)
coj.net/pets



TO REQUEST THIS GUIDE IN AN ALTERNATE FORMAT, PLEASE CONTACT THE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS DIVISION AT (904) 255-3110.