The City of Tallahassee Division of Emergency Management was established in 1992, to coordinate the City's departmental response to emergencies. The Division strengthens the coordination between City departments, County, State and Federal Agencies to service our community in times of need.
Tropical storms and hurricanes are one of Tallahassee's most dangerous weather threats. Torrential rains, heavy winds and tornadoes can take our town and cause severe damage, flooding and major power outages. It doesn't take much for our area (about 50MPH winds) to knock out power for an extended period of time due to the large number of trees in our city. Because we are not a coastal community, we don't have to worry as much about storm surge; however, there are a lot of other dangers associated with these dangerous storms.
- There's a lot to be done to prepare for a hurricane. This checklist from the Red Cross can help you prepare.
- Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock items as needed. This includes checking expirations dates on food and sizes on kids clothing.
- Reinforce your garage doors. If wind enters a garage, it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Have a plan for your pet, including supplies, photos, vaccination records, etc. Visit Emergency Pet's Page for more information on keeping your pet safe during a disaster.
- Know how to contact key service providers and relief agencies in your area. The City provides a list for Tallahassee.
- When a hurricane threatens, bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc).
- A lull during a hurricane often signifies the storm's eye, not its end. Wait for authorities to announce that the danger is gone before going outside.
For more information on hurricane preparedness click here.
The Florida Department of Health in Leon County is teaming up with Leon County Government and Leon County Schools with support from the City of Tallahassee on a fun campaign that encourages children to become superheroes in the fight against mosquitoes.
The "Spill the Water" campaign website – www.spillthewater.com – launched earlier this month, featuring a variety of games, puzzles and scavenger hunts meant to draw children's interest in the important role they play in good public health by keeping mosquito populations to a minimum.
Specifically, the campaign encourages children to spill standing water wherever they may see it.
"Reducing mosquitoes is a team effort, and the Spill the Water campaign is a unique way to ask youth and families to help out," said Leon County Mosquito Control's Glen Pourciau. "You too can be a superhero every day if you stay on the lookout for standing water in your yard and around your house. Mosquitoes can breed in just a bottlecap, so you need to keep your eyes open!"
In addition to the "Spill the Water" website, Leon County provides other educational materials for kids at www.LeonCountyFL.gov/youthprograms .
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States and can occur anywhere. A flood is a general or temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. Floods can be caused by many different conditions including hurricanes or storms, storm surge, heavy rain, prolonged rain, failure of dams, above average rainfall, or inadequate drainage. The impact can be small, only affecting a few properties, or very large, affecting entire communities. Some floods develop slowly, over a period of days or even weeks, while others like flash floods, can develop as quickly as within a few minutes. To protect yourself from flooding, you can:
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk.
- Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.
- If there is a possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Six inches of moving water can make you fall.
- For your health, avoid floodwaters as the water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
For more information on flood preparedness click here.
Wildfires are fast and unpredictable. It's as important to work toward prevention as it is to be prepared.
- Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees in your yard. For example, hardwood trees are less flammable than pine and evergreen trees.
- Have a garden hose that is long enough to reach any area of the home and other structures on the property.
- Planning a camping trip or backyard bonfire? Learn campfire safety first with Smokey Bear
- Put exposed woodpiles farther away from buildings unless they are completely covered in a fire-resistant material.
- Sparks from lawnmowers and power equipment do start wildfires. Be careful working with this equipment on hot, dry days.
- Where's the beep? Make sure your fire alarms function properly by giving them a test. Watch this quick video from the Tallahassee Fire Department to learn more.
- Roofs are the most vulnerable part of a home. Use materials like composition, metal or tile to help protect against wildfire.
- Have functional fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them.
Power Outage Preparedness
Electricity can be as dangerous as any hazardous weather condition, and it is inside of everyone's home. Safety concerning home electronics is often taken for granted. Ignoring electrical safety instructions may put your safety and property at risk. Moreso, when the power goes out, many people don't know what to do.
- Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door opener is located and learn how to operate it.
- If power is out for 4 hours or less, food in your fridge is safe to consume. A full freezer will keep for about 48 hours if the door stays closed. If you are questioning if something is safe enough to eat, err on the side of caution and throw it away.
- Use flashlights during power outages, not candles. Candles pose a high fire risk.
- Keep your car tank at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.
- Turn off and unplug unnecessary electrical equipment. When power comes back, surges or spikes can damage equipment. This includes computers, televisions and more.
- Avoid accidental carbon monoxide poisoning by never using a generator, grill, camp stove, etc. inside a home or garage.
- Do not touch power lines and keep your pets away from them, too. Report downed lines to 891-4968 in Tallahassee.
For more information on electricity click here.
The following links are provided to aide citizens in preparing and responding to emergency conditions. This page, combined with the Hurricane Connection will be constantly updated to reflect new links and services.
Pet Preparedness Information