Orange County Fire Rescue knocking on 7,000 doors Monday, warn residents ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Crews urge residents in mobile home parks to evacuate

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – In pairs, 23 teams with Orange County Fire Rescue spent their Labor Day knocking on doors in 34 mobile home parks on the east side of the county. 

Crews aimed to knock on 7,000 doors to let residents in vulnerable homes that Orange County has resources for them if at any point ahead of Hurricane Dorian they want to evacuate. 

"Because the storm is coming from the coast and that this will be the area that might [experience] sustained winds and rain," said Verna Watson, with OCFR.

"You have so many homes that are vulnerable to sustained winds, so we want to make sure they are aware that they might not be in the safest place."

Watson and her partner started at 6:30 a.m. Monday. She said the mission resembled their efforts in 2017, when she was part of the teams who warned residents when Hurricane Irma hit. 

"Then we went to all the mobile home parks in the county," Watson said. "We knocked on a home and she was bedridden, so I'll never forget that. We actually called some units and they came out and they were able to transport her somewhere safe."

Watson said a handful of the people teams visisted Monday said they were already planning on evacuating.

However, many decided to wait it out. For them, the crews offered generator advice, handed out flyers on how to stay safe and let residents know of Orange County's hotline, 311 for any questions. 

"There are elderly people that don't have anybody," Watson said. "Let's be mindful that there are people that really need our help." 

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