OER Newsletter September 2015

OER Newsletter header
Office of Emergency Response Newsletter - September 2015

Staying Prepared


Lightning deaths are already double those that occurred by this time last year.

As of Sept. 1, 2015, 26 people have died from lightning strikes in the United States. This is double the average number of year-to-date lightning fatalities over the past five years. Summer is the most dangerous season for lightning. It is NEVER safe to be outside during a thunderstorm. When thunder roars, go indoors! 

Learn more at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/.

Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Consider signing up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to receive notifications on your cellphone or wireless device. WEA can be issued for three alert categories – imminent threat to safety or life, AMBER alerts and alerts issued by the president. WEA complements the existing Emergency Alert System (EAS), which is implemented by the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency through broadcasters and other media service providers. WEA and the EAS are part of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

List of Weather Alert Services: http://www.weather.gov/subscribe

Credit: https://www.fcc.gov/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea and http://www.weather.gov/

Safety Tips

For flooding

  • Go with the flow – predicting water’s movement
  • Turn around, don’t drown

For cold weather

Despite being in the Sunshine State, it is important to remember the “5 P’s of Cold Weather Safety” when cold weather is in the forecast:

  • Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the elderly, who are the most sensitive to cold weather. 
  • Protect Pets: Be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or provide them with a warm shelter.
  • Protect Plants: Cover cold-sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.
  • Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
  • Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions, and be attentive to open flames. 


  • Beware of wind chill factors.
  • Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
  • Be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles.
  • Keep heating devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install smoke detectors.
  • Install at least one carbon monoxide detector.
  • Outdoors, stay dry and in wind-protected areas.
  • Wear multiple layers of loose-fitting clothing.
  • Drink plenty of nonalcoholic liquids and eat high-calorie foods.


Updates for Hurricane Season 

Hurricane season remains in full swing until 

Nov. 30.

stormy sky sunset image

Saffir-Simpson Scale

Tropical Storm

Winds 39-73 mph. Flooding becomes a great danger.

Category 1 Hurricane

Winds 74-95 mph. Minor or cosmetic damage to homes. Damage to unanchored mobile homes.

Category 2 Hurricane

Winds 96-110 mph. Damage to building roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to mobile homes. Some trees blown down.

Category 3 Hurricane 

111-130 mph. Well-built framed homes may incur major damage. Many trees snapped or uprooted. Mobile homes and poorly built signs destroyed.

Category 4 Hurricane

Winds 131-155 mph. Wall failures in homes and complete roof structure failure on small homes. Total destruction of mobile homes. Trees, shrubs and signs all blown down.

Category 5 Hurricane

Winds greater than 156 mph. Complete roof failure on homes and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures.

Names of the 2015 Hurricane Season Update

Names Used:                   To be Declared:

Ana                                 Joaquin

Bill                                  Kate

Claudette                         Larry

Danny                             Mindy

Erika                               Nicholas

Fred                                Odette

Grace                              Peter

Henri                               Rose

Ida                                  Sam




Contact Information 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
Office of Emergency Response
3800 Commonwealth Blvd., MS 658 
Tallahassee, FL 32399 

Email: OER@dep.state.fl.us 

Online: www.dep.state.fl.us/oer/