Hurricane Dorian Update for House District 47, 10:30am on August 31st
Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a Category 4 storm on Friday night with 145 mph winds, but the Saturday morning forecast shows Florida may be spared a direct hit. We still need to be prepared — anything can happen, and below is a quick review of updates as of August 31st 10:30am for you and your family.
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- Orange County Updates: Click here to keep up to date with Orange County Government’s hurricane alerts and click here to download the OCFL Alert app.
- Local City Updates: City of Orlando and City of Winter Park’s emergency management pages, which also includes insight into sandbag locations, and recommendation on other supplies. We also recently shared details on Belle Isle’s trash pickup schedule. You can see City of Edgewood updates at this link.
- Orange County Public Schools: All OCPS schools and work locations will be closed on Tuesday, September 3 after the Labor Day holiday. Any closures beyond Tuesday will be determined at a later time. Keep updated with OCPS here: www.ocps.net
- Higher-Ed Institutions: UCF, Seminole State College, Valencia College and Rollins College announced Thursday they have cancelled classes as Hurricane Dorian approaches, some until Wednesday. Students are being encouraged to go home for safety and/or follow campus guidance to stay safe. You can learn more here.
- Shelters: Twelve shelters which can house about 6,000 people will be available as needed in Orange County starting on Sunday. Learn more here.
- Special Needs: If you or a family member needs support with a special-needs shelter, you can learn more and register at this link: https://snr.floridadisaster.org/
- Parking Garages: For those who live in the City of Orlando and need a safe place to park your car — the City of Orlando is likely to open up city garages tomorrow; we’ll announce these details through our social media outlets as soon as we receive notice.
- Tollways: Governor Ron DeSantis will direct tolls to be suspended when/if evacuations are announced for counties. All major construction activities on our major rodas were stopped yesterday and crews are finishing up efforts to secure project sites and remove any non-essential traffic control devices. Note that shoulders have been cleared for potential use as an additional travel lane.
- Airport: Orlando International Airport plans to cease commercial flight operations on Monday, September 2, 2019 at 2 a.m. The latest airport update will always be pinned to the top of their Twitter page. Travelers are encouraged to check with their airline for flight updates.
- SNAP Benefits: To assist families as they prepare for Hurricane Dorian, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release September food assistance benefits to all 67 counties. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers who were scheduled to receive their benefits between September 1 and September 14 will now be able to access benefits through their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards starting August 31 at noon. Note that this is an early release of regular benefits, not a distribution of additional funds. Learn more here.
- Homeless Community Members: The Central Florida Commission on Homelessness will be meeting in front of the Lake Eola Bandshell tomorrow at 9:00am and 3:00pm to help the HOPE team get the word out to our neighbors on the streets about the hurricane, and encourage them to seek shelter. You can learn more here.
Finally, here are additional resources to stay updated on Hurricane Dorian:
- State of Florida Division of Emergency Management: www.floridadisaster.org; 850–413–9969; Twitter: @FLSERT
- Federal Emergency Management Agency: www.fema.gov; 202–646–2500; Twitter: @fema
- National Hurricane Center for storm tracking map, preparedness guide and other information at www.nhc.noaa.gov; Twitter: @NWSNHC
And if you haven’t prepped on supplies yet, here’s a quick reminder of items you should consider:
- Water (reduce plastic waste by using containers/jugs and filling those with water)
- Food (non-perishable)
- Flashlights & batteries
- Communication devices & chargers
- Pet Food (and other needs for your furry/feathery/scaly friends!)
- Gassing up your car
- Getting some cash (without electricity many places may only take cash)
- Important documents (insurance policies, for example)
- Emergency contact information
This link also provides additional guidance on how to prepare for a hurricane. Ready.gov explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.
Stay safe, and talk soon!
Representative Anna V. Eskamani