When A Hurricane Threatens
Any time a tropical weather system threatens St. Augustine:
- Monitor local radio broadcasts for emergency information. Emergency Management recommends that every family also have a NOAA weather radio.
- Re-check all emergency supplies and equipment to be sure you have enough supplies and that everything is in good work order.
- Fill your car's fuel tank and check oil, water and battery.
- Secure your storm window stutters, tape windows to minimize flying glass, make any other necessary repairs.
- Locate the main cut-off switches for electricity, water and gas. Secure LP gas tanks.
- Secure your boat.
- Secure all essential records and documents in a safe, water-tight place.
- If you do not have a car, make arrangements with a friend, relative or neighbor to go with them to a shelter or to evacuate.
- Be prepared to evacuate upon the recommendation or order of St. Johns County Emergency Management which works in tandem with the St. Augustine Fire Department. Enter a street address into My Evacuation Zone, which will provide your Evacuation Zone and a link to the map of the evacuation route.
- To view the Four Steps to Disaster Preparedness from the St. Augustine Fire Department, click here.
As soon as a hurricane watch is issued for any part of St. Johns County, take immediate actions to protect your life and property:
During A Hurricane Watch and Warning
- Closely monitor local radio for emergency instructions from St. Johns County Emergency Management, hurricane updates from the National Hurricane Center and local weather statement from the Weather Channel.
- Secure all outside objects. Bring loose objects indoors.
- Chlorinate your pool and turn off any electrical connections to the pool. You may safely place aluminum lawn furniture in the pool.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coolest setting. Open only as necessary.
- Lower any outside antennae, masts or towers. Be careful to avoid power lines.
- Do not use the telephone any more than necessary. Dial 911 only in emergencies.
- Fill your bathtub and any other large containers with water for washing, cleaning and to flush the toilets.
- Have one gallon of water per person, per day available to meet your drinking and cooking needs for a two week period.
- Before leaving, contact a friend or family member in another area. Tell them where are going, when you are leaving, and who is with you. Let them know you will be relying on them, after the hurricane, to get information to the rest of your family. Call them again later to tell them you have reached your destination.
- Evacuate as soon as you are ready to leave, do not wait for further instructions.
During the Hurricane
- Monitor local media for emergency instructions. Rumors will be commonplace. Listen only to official statements from Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.
- Stay indoors. Retreat to the most protected area of your house. Stay away from doors and windows even if they are shuttered.
- If the calm hurricane 'eye' passes over your area, continue to stay indoors. Make outside emergency repairs if necessary but returns indoors as quickly as possible.
- Turn off the interior electricity and gas. Use flashlights and battery operated lanterns for light. Avoid using candles if possible. have a fire extinguisher ready.
- Call 911 only for emergencies. Avoid using your telephone unless necessary.
- Remain indoors until the 'all clear' notice is given by Emergency Management or local law enforcement. Be aware that a curfew may be imposed immediately following a major hurricane. If you are in a shelter, do not leave until the shelter manager tells you it is safe. Roads will be impassable and power lines will be down.
After the Storm
After a hurricane, it is likely that governmental service, utilities and most businesses will not be operations for an extended period of time. This could mean no electricity, no water and no food supplies. Transportation will be difficult. Bridge and roads may be washed out or damaged. A dusk-to dawn curfew may be imposed. Living through the hurricane is just the beginning of the discomfort and inconvenience.
- Pay strict attention to instructions from Emergency management and law enforcement agencies. Obey all curfews and emergency orders which are issued.
- Stay away from disaster areas. Do not sightsee.
- If you must drive, use caution. Beware of road and bridge washout. Remember that you treat an intersection with a broken traffic signal as if it is a four way stop.
- Advise interested friends and relatives that you are safe.
- Use caution when using any food from your refrigerator or ice chest. Check for spoilage.
- If you arrived at a shelter via a public bus, return transportation will be provided as soon as possible.
- Avoid all downed power lines. Assume that all downed lines have live electricity.
- Check your electric, gas and water connections before turning them back on.
Use the following numbers to report utility problems:
- Florida Power and Light Company - 1.800.226.3545.
- City of St. Augustine Public Works - 1.904.825.1040
- Comcast Cable - 904.797.5466