What Marion County residents need to know before a storm

Tips available to help you prepare

By Jon Jankowski - Digital journalist

MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Residents of Marion County have several resources available to them while preparing for a storm, riding it out and dealing with the aftermath once it passes.

[HURRICANE RESOURCES: ClickOrlando.com/Hurricane]

When it comes to staying informed, News 6 meteorologists work diligently to pinpoint dangerous weather as it approaches and moves through Central Florida, making sure residents know when and how their areas will be impacted.

How to stay informed

To receive updates from our team, you can download the free News 6 and Pinpoint Weather apps by searching WKMG in your app store. Our Pinpoint Weather app will send push alerts customized to where you live.

You can also watch News 6 and check ClickOrlando.com for all weather updates.

The Marion County Division of Emergency Management has also posted a number of resources that will help residents be prepared for a hurricane or other strong storms.

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The county recommends staying alert with All Hazards Weather Alert Radio Network, operated by the National Weather Service, through a NOAA Weather Radio. The network issues the latest forecasts, observations and news you need to know about storms, according to the county website. An alert feature is also part of the network and will send warnings and weather watches sent out by the National Weather Service. 

Here are the NOAA Weather Radio frequencies for each area of Marion County:

  • 162.400 MHz for Inverness
  • 162.475 MHz for Gainesville
  • 162.500 MHz for Sumterville
  • 162.525 for Ocala 

The Specific Area Message Encoding for Marion County is 012083.

AlertMarion Emergency Notification: Residents of Marion County can sign up for this alert system for severe weather notifications through text messages, emails or phone calls. You can sign up for the alert system at this website

Social Media: Residents can "like" Marion County Sheriff's Office on Facebook and follow @MCSOFlorida on Twitter for updates. 

Shelter Information

Shelter locations will be announced if and when they open but even then, residents should check to make sure a certain location is open and has availability before leaving home. You can see if a shelter is open at this link

Not all shelters allow pets. Shelters do not allow weapons, alcohol or drugs. If you have a medical condition that requires you to stay at a special needs shelter, click here to register or call 352-369-8100.

If you have prescription medicine, make sure you have enough for two weeks. A pillow, blanket and basic hygiene items should also be brought to the shelter.

Other resources

County officials want everyone to stock up on water. They advise you pack 1 gallon of water per person in the family per day for a supply of two weeks.

You should also buy non-perishable foods and frozen gel packs for a cooler. The county offers an entire list of emergency supplies you should have for a storm. 

A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions are possible within the next 36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane force winds of over 74 mph are expected within 24 hours. Here is a link for a complete breakdown of a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. 

Store any important documents in a safe place before a projected storm. Homeowners should look at their insurance polices to see what's in their coverage.

If the power goes out, be sure to use flashlights. It is advised to not use candles or lanterns because they may present a fire hazard.

During a storm, stay away from windows and exterior doors.

For more information from the Marion County on how to plan for disasters, check the county's Facebook page and visit MarionSO.com.

For weather updates, tips on how to prepare your home, family and pets ahead of a storm and what to expect during and after one, visit ClickOrlando.com/Hurricane.

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