Seminole County's Improvements Since Irma
SEMINOLE COUNTY, FL (September 5, 2018) - September 11 marks one year since Hurricane Irma made landfall in Central Florida. In the wake of the storm, Seminole County staff and community organizations took measures to fortify public safety and disaster recovery efforts. Here’s how:
- Shelter training courses were refreshed and now include 4 hours of management training and 4 hours of shelter worker training. The courses offer more hands-on activities, and courses are offered monthly. All shelter staff have taken hands-only CPR classes and are trained to respond to a cardiac emergency with chest compressions.
- Shelter kits were enhanced with more reliable radios, better lighting systems, and overall, larger quantities of supplies. The Sharing Center, a community partner, offered children’s games to add to shelter kits, as well.
- Emergency Management staff, alongside Seminole County Public Schools (SCPS) facilities staff, visited 18 SCPS shelters to ensure accuracy of sheltering capacities and emergency power capabilities. Accordingly, Florida Division of Emergency Management helped to assess options for shelter hardening, which include wind protection and electrical upgrades through State grant funding.
- Seminole County Government Television produced videos to help familiarize shelter clients with expectations.
- Emergency Management enhanced audio/visual equipment to allow shelter clients and workers to view real-time, closed-broadcast messages from the Emergency Operations Center, as well as mainstream news.
- Emergency Management partnered with Nemours Care Connect program to offer free telemedicine in the shelters.
- Emergency Management partnered with SCPS to enhance screening of clients and ensure safety for shelter populations.
- Seminole County Emergency Management and Community Services partnered to develop a shelter transition plan for clients with long-term recovery service needs.
- Seminole County Animal Services newly acquired trailer will serve as additional space at pet-friendly shelters.
- Seminole County Information Services-GIS Division enhanced technologies inside the Emergency Operations Center to allow for more accurate and timely damage assessments.
- Emergency Management officials statewide implemented WebEOC, a regionally adopted web-based incident management system. WebEOC improves resource allocation, coordination, and communication between responding entities.
- Seminole County Information Services-GIS Division created a damage assessment webpage for citizens to submit storm damage information.
- Emergency Management partnered with Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Elder Affairs Unit to develop a process for wellbeing checks for residential healthcare facilities after widespread power outages.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLANNING
- Seminole County Resource Management and Environmental Services are procuring additional emergency generators to provide backup power sources for critical infrastructure.
- Emergency Management leased a new warehouse space dedicated to shelter logistics and storage.
- Memorandum of Understanding has been established with sign language interpretation services for press conferences.
The aforementioned improvements reflect only a portion of Seminole County’s measures to build resiliency to storms and other emergency events. For more information, please visit www.prepareseminole.org.