FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - Residents of Flagler 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
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If you live in Flagler County, emergency officials recommend residents stay up to date with any emergency with ALERTFlagler. It is a free countywide service that lets residents sign up for a variety of emergency notifications based on their enrolled addresses. Those who subscribe can also customize the notifications delivery method, choosing from phone calls, email, text messages or through the ALERTFlagler app. If you've already enrolled in these emergency notifications but have moved from Flagler, or to a different area of the county, you can make changes to your notification settings here.
Flagler County emergency officials also advise residents to make sure they are properly receiving national public warnings. The Emergency Alert System requires broadcasters, cable television systems, satellite and radio/TV service providers to deliver emergency information from the county, state and federal authorities. You'll typically get these alerts on a radio or TV, with an emergency tone or message displayed on your screen. These alerts are free, but your device must be turned on to receive them.
Officials also recommend all residents review the county's disaster preparedness guide. It's filled with resources to help business owners create their own disaster plan, a disaster supply checklist and what you and your pet need in case you have to utilize a pet-friendly shelter. The guide breaks down how to prepare ahead of a storm and what you might have to do after it passes. Here's a link to review the guide.
*UPDATE: Shelters for Hurricane Dorian are expected to open Sunday, according to county officials. This story will be updated with specific details on shelter locations as they become available.
Because different weather emergencies call for different responses, it's not guaranteed that all shelters will be accepting people as soon as bad weather hits. Residents should always check with the county for the latest information before heading to any shelter.
If shelters are open to evacuees, they will be located at one of the designated locations listed on the Flagler County website. Shelter locations can change due to the nature of a storm.
Flagler County will also provide shelters for those with special needs. Such shelters will also accept people who utilize service animals under the American Disabilities Act, though their care will be the responsibility of the owner. Those with special needs must register with the county ahead of a storm. You can find a brochure explaining eligibility here.
Flagler County Emergency Management officials also coordinate with the Flagler County Humane Society to provide pet-friendly shelters. FCEM notes that pets are allowed to be sheltered at these designated areas, but that does not necessarily mean they will be sheltered with their owners. Owners must be prepared for their pets to be housed in a different area of the shelter. These shelters are for household domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, birds, rodents and turtles. Pets can be turned away if owners don't have current medical and vaccination records for their pet. You can read more about pet shelter requirements in the FCEM preparedness guide.
It's important to note that not all shelters accept pets, so make sure the one you're planning to visit does before you arrive.
FCEM officials said that, when necessary, the county will issue evacuation orders by zones. You can see a map the county's evacuation zones here.
For more information from the Flagler County Office of Emergency Management on how to plan for disasters, visit flaglercounty.org/emergency or call 386-313-4200 to see which shelters may open once an evacuation is ordered.
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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