VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Residents of Volusia 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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You can also watch News 6 and check ClickOrlando.com for all weather updates.
If you live in Volusia County, emergency management officials recommend you download the county's free emergency preparedness app, which can be found in Google Play or Apple's App Store. Through the app, residents can access preparedness checklists, links to county sites, information about shelters and sandbag locations and evacuation information.You can also sign up to receive notifications about current weather conditions and use the app to aid in the damage assessment process after a storm passes.
Emergency officials also encourage residents to sign up for the CodeRed Weather Warning program to receive emergency notifications to their phones. You can also use the system through the CodeRed mobile app.
Volusia County officials encourage you and your family to decide before a storm is even in the forecast for your area what you will do if bad weather is threatening Central Florida. Where will you stay if an evacuation order is issued? Volusia County Emergency Management officials recommend making plans to stay with friends or family who live well inland, if possible. If that is not an option, the county will set up hurricane shelters at key locations and will notify residents through the emergency preparedness app when they are opened, according to the county's emergency management website.
Follow the county's 10-step plan to developing your family's emergency disaster plan.
If and when the county opens shelters, public shelters, special-needs shelters and pet-friendly shelters can be found at the following addresses:
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.
Residents with special-needs should register for the Special Needs Shelters program with Volusia County Emergency Management, which provides assistance to patients during evacuations. Anyone with a pet who is planning to evacuate to a special needs shelter should contact Volusia County Animal Services at 386-248-1790 to discuss assistance for sheltering pets.
NOTE: Not all emergencies will call for every shelter to be opened. You should always check with the county and call the shelter itself before packing your bags and heading to any of the listed locations.
In the event that you do have to stay at a shelter, Volusia County officials offer the following packing guidelines:
Items to take to a shelter
Evacuees may need to stay at a shelter for 24 to 72 hours during an emergency. Since space is limited, only take essential items. Avoid bringing valuables; shelters are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
- Special dietary food, snacks or comfort food, water or other nonalcoholic beverages
- Bedding: pillow, blanket, etc. - general population shelters do not provide cots, so a comfortable beach chair and sleeping pad are recommended
- Ear plugs
- Extra clothing
- Medications and medical supplies
- Oxygen supplies or arrange with your oxygen company to deliver to the designated special-needs oxygen shelter.
- Toiletry items
- Flashlight and batteries
- Diapers, infant and elderly/disabled necessities
- Time occupiers such as books, magazines, games or cards
If you only have minutes to pack, grab these items:
- Medical supplies: prescription medications, eyeglasses and dentures
- Disaster supplies: flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, bottled water
- Clothing and bedding: a change of clothes and a sleeping bag or bedroll and pillow for each household member
- Car keys and keys to the place you may be going (friend's or relative's home)
If you need help getting to a shelter, the Volusia County School Board and Votran provide free rides to general public shelters, according to the county's emergency management website. When shelters are open, pickups will be made at all regular Votran bus stops.
The county also offers the following list of phone numbers to have on file for additional access to public information:
Volusia County Hotline
United Way First Call for Help
211 or 386-253-0563
Volusia County Schools
386-734-7190, ext. 20000
(no sandbag information)
386-255-6475, ext. 20000
(no sandbag information)
New Smyrna Beach
Ormond Beach Public Works
Town Hall: 386-236-2150
Florida Power & Light hotline
Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance number
American Red Cross
866-GET-INFO (during crisis)
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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