50 Years After Hurricane Dora, Jacksonville Residents Urged to Be JaxReady in 2014
With hurricane season at our doorstep, Mayor Alvin Brown and Winn-Dixie Stores announced a new array of tools to help residents be prepared for emergencies.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Dora, a Category 2 storm that directly impacted Northeast Florida. The anniversary provides a reminder about why residents need to plan ahead to effectively respond and recover from all hazards, including storms, flooding, fires and other emergencies.
“In an emergency, every second counts,” said Mayor Brown. “That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and prepare for a potential disaster – whether it’s a storm, flood or fire. We want to make that easy to do. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with helpful information and tools, so people can protect themselves and their families during hurricane season and year-round. We want everyone to be JaxReady.”
Hurricane season begins June 1. To help residents prepare, Mayor Brown and Winn-Dixie created a public-private partnership to help residents obtain the right supplies for a preparedness kit and plan properly for hazardous events. At today’s news conference, the mayor and representatives from Winn-Dixie and Duval County Emergency Management displayed some of the key items to make a kit.
“We are proud to partner with the City of Jacksonville on the JaxReady Emergency Preparedness Guide to help our neighbors and associates prepare for potential storms,” said Winn-Dixie District Director Cheikh Mboup. “It is so important have a plan and an emergency supply kit with enough water, non-perishable food items and prescription medication to sustain each household for up to three days.”
Planning is especially important this year because the City of Jacksonville has enhanced its evacuation zones for emergencies. In the past, evacuation zones have been primarily based on the category of the approaching storm. New scientific data that includes other factors, such as wave action, precipitation, and areas known to flood, has allowed Duval County Emergency Management to better define evacuation zones for Duval County. Effective this month, evacuation zones will be based on a lettering system, with A, B, C, D, E, and F zones.
The new zones are available at JaxReady.com, and residents can access up-to-the-minute information by using the newly enhanced JaxReady smartphone app, which also has the new zones and features such as weather information.
The new evacuation zones also will be published in the 2014-15 JaxReady Emergency Preparedness Guide, which is sponsored by Winn-Dixie. The new guide provides readers with direction about how to build a kit, information about local services, and guidance on how to stay informed. The JaxReady media partners are First Coast News, The Florida Times-Union and WJCT. The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are also partners.
Look up your evacuation zone by address
“As we move into hurricane season, it becomes especially important that we work together to help residents prepare,” says Pat Shea, CEO of the American Red Cross of North Florida. “Looking back on the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Dora – and what that damage might look like today – this guide serves as a much needed tool for the entire community.”
The new guide will be available at Winn-Dixie stores and published in The Florida Times-Union in the Sunday, June 1, edition of the newspaper. The guide also will be available at various government buildings and community centers, the American Red Cross, and online at JaxReady.com.
“We have worked closely with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, North East Florida Regional Planning Council, and public safety experts to provide our community with the most up-to-date maps available,” said Steve Woodard, director of Duval County Emergency Management. “Being prepared means having a plan, having an emergency preparedness kit, and staying informed. Remember, when a disaster strikes, it is also important to check on friends, neighbors, pets, and especially those persons who may have special needs.”