Disaster Preparedness

In the event of a disaster, you and your loved ones need a plan.  In order to make an informed decision, you need to know your options. So, what are your options...

Sheltering Options

  • Stay Home

    Before you choose this option, make sure you know your elevation. If we experience a storm that may put a significant storm surge in your home, you need to look at the other options. Also, people in manufactured and mobile homes cannot use this option. Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not built to withstand the high winds associated with tropical storms and hurricanes.

  • Stay With a Friend or Relative Who has a Safe Place

    If this is your plan, make arrangements in advance. You need to make sure that where you are going is safe. It defeats the purpose of evacuating if you go to an unsafe place.

  • Relocate Out of the Area

    You may wish to travel out of harms way. Be sure to bring a road map and make sure that your car is full of fuel. Stay away from major bodies of water. Make arrangements in advance if you can. If you decide to use this option, go early, traffic will be heavy if you leave at the last minute, and you may not make it to your destination

  • Emergency Public Shelters

    For more information on Emergency Shelters and a list of available Public Shelters please vist our emergency shelters page . Emergency Public Shelters should always be the option of last resort.

Three Day Survival Kit 

You should plan to be self-sufficient for at least three days during and after a disaster. You should anticipate no water, electrical power, or utilities for that period of time. To ensure the comfort of your family, whether at home or evacuated to another location please download and print the Three-Day Survival Kit.

Business Continuity

Businesses can do much to prepare for the impact of the many hazards they face in today’s world including natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and widespread serious illness such as the H1N1 flu virus pandemic. The Central Florida Development Council has constructed a comprehensive Disaster Preparation & Business Continuity Planning guide to assist you in planning for the worst.

FEMA's Ready Business will also assist you in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards. More information can be found at www.ready.gov/business.

Sandbag Information

Sandbags will redirect storm water and debris flows away from homes and other structures, provided the sandbags are properly filled and maintained. Sandbags usually last for only one year.  Consult your local environmental protection department before disposing of used sandbags. Sandbags exposed to contaminated floodwaters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling.

All of Polk County's sandbag fill sites are self-serve, so be sure to bring your shovel. 30 bag limit per person. Find your nearest sandbag fill site.

Download the sandbag information document to learn more about filling and placing sandbags as well where to find sand and bags.

Display Your House Numbers Properly

Posting the address numbers on the outside of your home correctly could prevent a delayed response by emergency services and could potentially save the lives of you and your family. Download the address posting or address posting en Español document to learn more about posting your address numbers properly. View the Addressing Ordinance.

Other Helpful Offsite Disaster Preparation Links:

Important Contact Numbers

American Red Cross (863) 294-5941 View
United Way Information Referral Service 2-1-1 or (888) 370-7188
or text your zip code to 898-211
Citizens Information Line (local emergency updates) (863) 401-2234 or (866) 661-0228 N/A
Polk County Animal Services (863) 499-2600 View
Polk County Emergency Communications Center (863) 401-2234 N/A
Polk County Fire Rescue (Fire/EMS) (863) 519-7350 View
EMERGENCIES ONLY (Police/Fire/Ambulance)
911 N/A
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