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Storm Trackimage captured from weather.com

As Storm Approaches, City Watches

As Tropical Depression NINE follows its expected path into the Gulf of Mexico and across Northeast Florida later this week, the City of St. Augustine urges the entire community to make necessary preparations for the “just in case” scenario.

The central location for all local emergency information is St. Johns County Department of Emergency Management and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Information can be accessed online at www.SJCEmergencyManagement.org. It’s a good place for information specific to our area, such as evacuation routes and shelter locations as well as general information such as the suggested essentials for a home preparedness kit.

The site also has a link to the most current Situation Report, a press release with the most up-to-the hour information regarding the storm and its effects on St. Augustine/St. Johns County.

Residents and business owners are urged to make their own preparations as they continue to monitor weather information. Additional caution should be exercised if driving is necessary during storm conditions, especially in low lying areas prone to flooding. It is very to be mindful of the tide schedule since above normal tides will be a factor in flooding.

The city’s emergency operations are coordinated from the main fire station under the management of the fire chief and the staff of the department who maintains close contact with the EOC, and in turn the EOC coordinates efforts countywide and hand-in-hand with the Florida Department of Emergency Management.

City crews started on Monday checking equipment from chain saws to truck tires to fuel supplies as the first step towards any need for action. Each department within the city has a preparedness plan designed to meet that department’s needs. While the General Services Department focuses on the city’s properties and facilities, the Public Works Department turns its attention to heavy equipment that may be needed immediately after a storm. Of course, those departments on the front line of public safety, the fire and police departments, are ready for a heightened state of preparedness.

With this storm, as with any such occurrence, the Public Affairs Department will use local and regional media as well as its own web site and social media channels to distribute information pertinent to city residents and businesses regarding the storm.

Read more on our website about Preparing for Storms, Hurricane Preparedness and general  Emergency Preparedness.