Hurricane Season – What you need to know. . .
before, during and after a storm
LIFESAVING PREPAREDNESS STEPS FOR HURRICANE SEASON
With the hurricane season approaching, residents of Walton County should prepare now for what experts predict will be another active and destructive year for storms.
Taking some simple, common-sense preparedness steps with your family can save your life and the lives of the ones you love. The time to prepare is now, not when the storm is approaching.
Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan
Choose several places where you could go if you evacuate—a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Get a good map and be familiar with our evacuation routes. Listen to local media broadcasts for the latest storm conditions.
If you evacuate to a Red Cross shelter, be sure to bring medications, extra clothing, pillows and blankets, food, water, and other supplies for all members of your family. Please remember that pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters.
Let out-of-the-area friends and relatives know your plans—where you are going or will be staying. Provide them with telephone numbers. When the storm is over, give them a call to let them know you are safe. Have a battery Operated radio on Hand and plenty of Batteries!
Evacuation Routes in Walton County
Residents and visitors of south Walton need to know the evacuation plan. The only evacuation route for those leaving south Walton after a general evacuation has been ordered is U.S. 331.
The Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge (Clyde B. Wells Bridge) will be closed when sustained winds reach 40 miles per hour.
When the bridge is closed to traffic there is no means of leaving south Walton County because Bay and Okaloosa counties also close their bridges at Phillips Inlet and at the Destin East Pass.
Before the bridge is closed, both lanes of U.S. 331 may be routed with northbound traffic only.
Once travelers reach the intersection of U.S. 331 and SR 20 in Freeport, Walton County Sheriff’s deputies will direct traffic in two directions.
Cars in the right lane of U.S. 331 will be directed on SR 20 to Bruce, Fl where they will be directed again by deputies to turn left and go north on SR 81 to Ponce de Leon. In Ponce de Leon traffic can continue north on SR 81 into Alabama or take I-10 east or west.
Cars in the left lane of U.S. 331 will turn left on SR 20 and then right on U.S. 331 North to DeFuniak Springs. Once in DeFuniak Springs, motorists can take I-10 east or west, proceed on U.S. 331 North to Alabama, or take SR 83 in DeFuniak Springs into Alabama.
EXPECT delays on the route, particularly in towns or where highways join.
Avoid delays by leaving early!!
The ABC’s of Hurricane Preparedness
Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
Batteries, batteries, batteries, battery-powered radio and flashlight.
Canned food (non-perishable food) and a manual can opener. Cash and credit cards. Charcoal for grills.
Diapers, formula and infant items.
Elderly people have special needs.
First aid kit and essential medications.
Gas–As the storm approaches, keep your car’s gas tank full. Also fill your gas grill or Coleman stove for alternative cooking devices.
Home-secure your home before the storm threatens (plywood, shutters, and/or protective window film; plastic sheeting, nails, etc.)
Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate.
June 1 — November 30: hurricane season lasts six months.
Keep handy the telephone numbers of several places — a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions.
Medications: Bring extra supplies and a list of what you are taking.
Never use candles-they are a fire hazard.
Outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools need to be brought inside.
Pets are not allowed in Red Cross shelters. Have a plan for your pet.
Quiet games, books, playing cards and favorite toys for children.
Refrigerator — turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows to use at the shelter or if you must evacuate.
Tornadoes can happen during hurricane and after it passes over.
Utilities — teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water.
Valuables — store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home.
Water — at least three gallons of water per person.
Xtra everything: medications, batteries, cash, water, gas.
Yard — bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys and garden tools.
Ziplock bags — keep important phone numbers, medical and pet information, and important papers in a Ziplock bag.
For information relating to Walton County access the County web site: www.co.walton.fl.us
– or call –
Emergency Operations Center Citizen Information Lines
(850) 892-8392 or (850) 892-8394
– or listen to –
Local Radio Stations:
Local TV Stations
To Report an Emergency call 9 – 1 – 1
Out of area radio stations receiving Walton County news releases
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Panama City, Fla.
These stations have agreed to air our news releases during times of emergency such as hurricanes. Please remember they will not continuously air Walton County news unless we are otherwise newsworthy.