HURRICANE DORIAN - FAQs and Updates

August 31, 2019  
eoc staff looking at map of duval county evacuation zones

We will be posting updates here as the situation progresses, so please check back often.

Storm FAQs

  • UPDATE #1: TROPICAL STORM DORIAN (Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2:00 p.m.)
  • UPDATE #2: HURRICANE DORIAN (Thursday, Aug. 29, 12:00 p.m.)
  • UPDATE #3: HURRICANE DORIAN (Friday, Aug. 30, 12 p.m.)
  • UPDATE #4: HURRICANE DORIAN (Saturday, Aug. 31, 5 p.m.)
  • UPDATE #5: HURRICANE DORIAN (Sunday, Sept. 1, 5 p.m.)
  • UPDATE#6: HURRICANE DORIAN (Tuesday. Sept. 3, 6 p.m.)
  • UPDATE#7: HURRICANE DORIAN (Wednesday. Sept. 4, 5:45 p.m.)

UPDATE #7: HURRICANE DORIAN

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 5:45 p.m.

With weather conditions improving and the initial assessment showing damage at a minimum, Mayor Lenny Curry announced that mandatory evacuation orders for Zones A and B, low-lying areas and manufactured homes will be lifted at 7 p.m. Residents may return to their homes at that time, but should remain cautious while navigating the roads, especially after dark. Weather experts expect blustery conditions and spotty rainfall to continue through Thursday morning as bands pass through the area.   

Additionally, the following updates were shared:
  • The City’s customer care center, 630-CITY (2489), will remain open until 8 p.m. tonight to support citizens’ needs in the aftermath of the hurricane, and will resume normal operating hours starting Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Crews will continue to assess damage throughout the county; citizens can assist by reporting damage to the Emergency Operations team at 630-CITY (2489) or coj.net/Damage.
  • City offices will reopen tomorrow; employees with children whose school is canceled Thursday, Sept. 5, will be allowed to take an excused absence. Personnel should contact their supervisor before taking off work. 
  • All library locations are planned to reopen at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Duval County Public Schools employees should report to work Thursday, Sept. 5; schools will be back in session for students Friday, Sept. 6. Weekend football games are canceled.
  • All bridges are open.
  • Intersections with malfunctioning traffic lights should be treated as 4 way stops.
  • All remaining flights for Wednesday, Sept. 4, are canceled. Passengers should contact the airlines, not the airport, for the most updated flight information.
  • JTA transit operations will resume as scheduled Thursday, Sept. 5.
  • Shelters will remain open overnight.
  • Waste collection services will resume Thursday, Sept. 5. All remaining collections for the week will be delayed by one day, meaning homes regularly scheduled for Wednesday collection will be serviced Thursday, Sept. 5, and so on. Collection services will return to normal Monday, Sept. 9.
  • The cities of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach will reopen the beaches tomorrow and lifeguards will be on duty; however, it is still extremely dangerous to go into the water due to life-threatening rip currents.
  • The City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will remain activated to support damage assessments and the stand down of shelter operations. 

UPDATE #6: HURRICANE DORIAN

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 6 p.m.

Mayor Lenny Curry provided one more update before the effects of Hurricane Dorian are felt in Duval County. With the city currently under Tropical Storm and Coastal Storm Surge warnings, the mayor cautioned residents to shelter in place and shared the following updates:
  • JTA suspended all transit services including all fixed-routes, First Coast Flyer BRT lines and the Skyway. Evacuation services will continue to be provided until 8 p.m., weather permitting.
  • Bridges are expected to close tonight; once closed, no one will be allowed to cross. Bridges to the beaches communities will not reopen until conditions are safe and the Florida Department of Transportation completes an inspection.
  • As soon as weather conditions permit, JEA crews will begin power restoration operations, prioritizing local hospitals, shelters and police and fire stations. After that, they will begin repairs to major circuits that restore power to the most households.
  • City offices are closed through Wednesday, Sept. 4
  • Duval County Public Schools will remain closed through Thursday, Sept. 5 to prepare schools that were used as shelters for students.
  • The cities of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach have temporarily closed the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, meaning no water activities are allowed until conditions are deemed safe. If you see someone in the water or attempting to go in the water, please call 911 immediately.
  • The City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated to track storm progress and prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian. 
Citizens are encouraged to be aware and continue preparations. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance. 

UPDATE #5: HURRICANE DORIAN

Sunday, Sept. 1, 5 p.m. 

Due to the potential for Hurricane Dorian to bring high winds, heavy rains and high waters to areas along the coast and in low-lying areas along the river and tributaries in Northeast Florida, Mayor Curry declared the mandatory evacuation of Zones A and B, as well as Huguenot and Hanna parks, effective 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. 

  • Residents who live in Zones A and B should begin to make the necessary arrangements and prepare to leave starting Monday, Sept. 2. 
  • Shelters will open at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2. For more information including a list of open locations and items to bring, visit JaxReady.com. 
  • Mayor Curry signed a proclamation declaring a local state of emergency effective midnight Monday, Sept. 2. This declaration provides local officials access to all resources needed to make City ready. 
  • Duval County Public Schools will remain closed Tuesday, Sept. 3 and Wednesday, Sept. 4. 
  • The cities of Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach have temporarily closed the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, meaning no water activities are allowed until conditions are deemed safe. If you see someone in the water or attempting to go in the water, please call 911 immediately. 
  • Citizens with special medical needs are asked to register with our Emergency Preparedness teams at COJ.net/SpecialMedicalNeeds or 630-CITY. Citizens must pre-register if they plan to stay in a Special Medical Needs Shelter during an emergency and must re-register every year. 
  • Pet-friendly shelters are available; only household pets including dogs, cats, birds and rabbits are allowed. Residents can call 630-CITY (2489) or visit JaxReady.com for locations and a list of items to bring. 
  • The St. Johns River Water Taxi has suspended service until further notice. 
  • The City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated to track storm progress and prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
  • City offices will be closed through Wednesday, September 4. 

Citizens are encouraged to be aware and continue preparations. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance. 

UPDATE #4: HURRICANE DORIAN

Saturday, Aug. 31, 5 p.m.

As forecast trends continue to edge Hurricane Dorian’s track to the east, the storm still has the potential to bring high winds, heavy rains and high waters to areas along the coast and in low-lying areas along the river and tributaries in Northeast Florida.

At a news conference at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Saturday, Mayor Lenny Curry and other City leaders encouraged citizens to remain vigilant and continue storm preparations.

  • The City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated to track storm progress and prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
  • Currently, there are no expected changes regarding emergency declarations, evacuations or shelter openings. The EOC will continue to track forecast changes and decisions will be made as conditions warrant on Sunday, Sept. 1.
  • Citizens with special medical needs are asked to register with our Emergency Preparedness teams at COJ.net/SpecialMedicalNeeds or 630-CITY. Citizens must pre-register if they plan to stay in a Special Medical Needs Shelter during an emergency and must re-register every year.
Citizens are encouraged to be aware and continue preparations. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance.

UPDATE #3: HURRICANE DORIAN

Friday, Aug. 30, 12 p.m.

As forecasts push back predicted storm impacts into mid-week next week, Mayor Lenny Curry and City leaders encouraged residents to stay informed and aware over Labor Day weekend during a news conference at the Duval County Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
  • The City of Jacksonville’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated to monitor storm progress and prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian.
  • City crews will continue to inspect and perform preventative maintenance in flood prone areas over the weekend to remove debris and maximize capacity of drainage systems.
  • There are no open shelters or evacuations ordered at this time. The City will continue to monitor the progress of the storm and will make announcements as conditions warrant.
  • Currently, there are no decisions on evacuations or shelter openings. EOC teams will continue to monitor the situation and those decisions will be made as conditions warrant.
  • As a reminder, citizens can sign up to receive emergency notifications to the cellphones with ALERTJAX. This system provides time-sensitive information for local and county-wide emergencies, including severe weather warnings from the National Weather Service. Duval County residents can sign-up for this free service at coj.net/ALERTJAX.
  • There are currently no changes to City waste collection schedules.

Citizens are encouraged to be aware and prepared. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance.

UPDATE #2: HURRICANE DORIAN

Thursday, Aug. 29, 12:00 p.m.
City Continues to Monitor Storm, Make Preparations

The City of Jacksonville continues to monitor the progress of Hurricane Dorian and its potential impacts to the Jacksonville area. City departments and agencies continue preparedness efforts throughout the city.
  • City crews continue to inspect and perform preventative maintenance in flood prone areas throughout the community to remove debris and maximize capacity of drainage systems.
  • There are no open shelters or evacuations ordered at this time. The City will continue to monitor the progress of the storm and will make announcements as conditions warrant.
  • Currently, there are no decisions on evacuations or shelter openings. EOC teams will continue to monitor the situation and those decisions will be made as conditions warrant.
  • The Florida State vs. Boise State football game has been moved to 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31 in Tallahassee, FL. This decision is based on the safety of citizens. In the event that we have to issue an evacuation order, the game would not be conducive to the availability of or free flow of traffic.
  • There are currently no changes to City waste collection schedules.
Citizens are encouraged to be aware and prepared. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance.

UPDATE #1: TROPICAL STORM DORIAN

Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2:00 p.m.
City Encourages Citizens to be Prepared
 
Mayor Lenny Curry announced the activation of the Duval County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at a news conference today. City staff and partners are making preparations and continue to monitor the progress of the storm and its potential impacts to the Jacksonville area.
 
Although it is still too early to predict the impact of the storm, citizens are encouraged to be aware and prepared. The mayor asked citizens to stay tuned to local news outlets for updated information, to check the City website and JaxReady mobile app, and to call 630-CITY (2489) for additional information and assistance.
 
This week, City crews will be inspecting and performing preventative maintenance in flood prone areas throughout the community to remove debris and maximize capacity of drainage systems.
 
Currently, there are no decisions on evacuations or shelter openings. EOC teams will continue to monitor the situation and those decisions will be made as conditions warrant.
 
Additionally, there are no changes to the plans for Saturday’s Florida State vs. Boise State Football Game at TIAA Bank Field on Saturday, Aug. 31. The City continues to monitor conditions and remains in contact with both schools and stakeholders.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Updated Sept. 4, 2019

Have evacuations been ordered?
The mandatory evacuation orders for Zones A and B, low-lying areas and manufactured homes will be lifted at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Is the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activated?
Yes. The EOC will remain activated to support damage assessments and the stand down of shelter operations.

What does a State of Emergency mean?
The local State of Emergency will remain in effect until Thursday, Sept. 5.  A State of Emergency declaration allows the City to more easily allocate dollars and resources to best protect lives and property. 

When will shelters open? What do I need to bring to the shelter?
Shelters will remain open overnight, Wednesday, Sept. 4. 

Who do I call to report storm damage?
Crews will continue to assess damage throughout the county; citizens can assist by reporting damage to the Emergency Operations team at 630-CITY (2489) or coj.net/Damage.

What's the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning?
Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Action: During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.

Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Action: During a warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials

Are schools closed?
  • Duval County Public Schools (DCPS): DCPS will remain closed through Thursday, Sept. 5. For more information, visit duvalschools.org. 
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ): All FSCJ campuses and centers are closed through Thursday, Sept. 5. 
  • University of North Florida (UNF): All classes and student activities are canceled and offices are closed through Thursday, Sept. 5. UNF will be closing all residential housing and the Osprey Cafe at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 3. UNF strongly recommends all students leave campus as soon as possible if they have a safe place to travel to and stay. Those students who remain on campus will be required to move to the Osprey Fountains for safe shelter. Please be aware that all other buildings on campus will remain on lockdown, as they are not designated as hurricane shelters. 
  • Jacksonville University (JU): JU will remain closed through Thursday, Sept. 5. While the school hopes to reopen campus Friday for returning students, faculty and staff, classes will be cancelled on Friday, Sept. 6, to allow for storm recovery efforts.
  • Edward Waters College (EWC): EWC will remain closed through Wednesday, Sept. 4.
Will government offices close?
City offices will reopen tomorrow; employees with children in public schools will be allowed to take an excused absence. Personnel should contact their supervisor to advise of 

Will bridges close?
All bridges are open.

Will garbage and recycling collection remain on schedule?
Waste collection services will resume Thursday, Sept. 5. All remaining collections for the week will be delayed by one day, meaning collections regularly scheduled for Wednesdays will be picked up Thursday, Sept. 5, and continue in this way until Saturday, Sept. 7. Collection services will return to normal schedules Monday, Sept. 9. 

What types of debris will be picked up by Solid Waste?
All standard solid waste collection rules apply with a 5-cubic-yard waste limit. Any changes or exceptions to these rules as result of the storm will be communicated via local media channels, social media, the City website (www.COJ.net) and the JaxReady mobile app.

Who do I call if my lights are out?
JEA will work to restore power when it is safe to do so. Electrical outages and service issues can be reported to JEA at (904) 665-6000 or online at JEA.com.

What should citizens do if they approach a malfunctioning or out-of-service traffic light?
Drivers should treat malfunctioning or out-of-service traffic lights as four-way stops.

What do I do if I find downed power lines?
If citizens encounter downed power lines, they are encouraged to keep a safe distance and call 630-CITY (2489) to report the issue.

How do I prevent exposure to carbon monoxide (CO)?
In the event of electric utility outages, some citizens may turn to gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills. These devices can increase the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous, invisible, odorless, tasteless gas and is highly poisonous. Depending on the level of exposure, CO may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains for those with heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases, death.
 
Department of Health-Duval recommends the following precautions to help citizens prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
  • Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
  • NEVER use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home.
  • ALWAYS locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents, and air conditioning equipment that could allow CO to come indoors. Follow the instructions that come with your generator.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
  • Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead batteries.
  • REMEMBER: you cannot see or smell CO.
  • Portable generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly.
  • If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY.
  • If you have a poisoning emergency, call your nearest Florida Poison Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.
  • If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.
For more information, please contact the Department of Health-Duval (904-253-1000) or visit The Florida Department of Health website (www.floridahealth.gov/) or The Florida Division of Emergency Management website (www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp).
 
FOOD SAFETY
Refrigerated food and power outage guidelines:
  • In most circumstances, food is safe as long as power is out no more than four hours.
  • Keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety! You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
  • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that has been above40 degrees F for more than two hours.
  • Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
For a full guide of foods to keep and discard, visit: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html.
 
Handling food during boil water advisories also requires special attention.
  • Make sure to keep soap and paper towels at all handwashing sinks.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and running water:
    • After using the bathroom
    • Before handling food
    • When switching between raw and cooked foods
    • After eating, drinking, or smoking
    • After changing a diaper
    • Whenever hands become contaminated
    • Between changing gloves
  • Thaw foods in the refrigerator before cooking or serving:
    • Keep cold foods at 41 degrees F or below 
  • Cook food thoroughly (for a minimum of 15 seconds as indicated below):
    • Chicken and other poultry and stuffed meats - 165 degrees F
    • Ground beef and other ground meats - 155 degrees F
    • Pork, beef, eggs, and other meats - 145 degrees F
    • Once cooked, keep hot foods at 140 degrees F or above
    • Cool hot foods rapidly to 41 degrees F, or below, within 4 hours of serving
Handling Foods
  • Do not touch ready-to-eat foods with unwashed hands
  • Use utensils to handle food, whenever possible
FLOOD WATER SAFETY
Precautions to prevent possible illness from flood waters:
  • Basic hygiene is critical. Wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected before preparing or eating food, after using the toilet, after participating in flood cleanup activities, and after handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything that has been contaminated with flood waters.
  • Do not wade through standing water. If you do, bathe and put on clean clothes as soon as possible.
  • Avoid contact with flood waters if you have open cuts or sores. If you cannot avoid contact with flood waters, keep any cuts and sores as clean as possible by washing well with soap to control infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention. Residents who sustain lacerations and/or puncture wounds and have not had a tetanus vaccination within the past 10 years require a tetanus booster.
Potential Hurricane Dorian Cyber Scams
Fraudulent emails commonly appear after major natural disasters and often contain links or attachments that direct users to malicious websites. Users should exercise caution in handling any email with a hurricane-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink. In addition, users should be wary of social media pleas, texts, or door-to-door solicitations relating to severe weather events.
To avoid becoming victims of malicious activity, users and administrators should review the following resources and take preventative measures: If you believe you have been a victim of cybercrime, file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation  www.ic3.gov

IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS & WEBSITES
City of Jacksonville - 904-630-CITY (2489); http://www.coj.net/
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office - 904-630-0500; www.coj.net/departments/sheriffs-office.aspx
Florida Department of Transportation - 904-360-5457; http://www.fdot.gov/
JEA - 904-665-6000; https://www.jea.com/
Northeast Florida Red Cross - 904-358-8091;
http://www.redcross.org/local/florida/north-florida/local-chapters/northeast-florida
Jacksonville Transit Authority (JTA) - 904-630-3100; http://www.jtafla.com/
Traffic Information – 511; https://fl511.com/
United Way of Northeast Florida – 211; https://www.unitedwaynefl.org/
Florida Emergency Information Hotline - 1-800-342-3557; http://floridadisaster.org/feil.htm
Salvation Army - 904-356-8641; http://www.salvationarmyflorida.org/jacksonville/
National Weather Service Jacksonville - 904-741-4311; www.weather.gov/jax/
Duval County Public Schools - 904-390-2000; https://duvalschools.org/
Jacksonville Public Library - 904- 630-1994; https://www.jaxpubliclibrary.org/
 
OFFICIAL SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Twitter: Mayor Lenny Curry (@LennyCurry)  - https://twitter.com/lennycurry
City of Jacksonville (@CityOfJax) - https://twitter.com/cityofjax
JaxReady (@JaxReady) - https://twitter.com/jaxready
Facebook: City of Jacksonville - https://www.facebook.com/CityofJax
YouTube: City of Jacksonville - https://www.youtube.com/c/cityofjacksonville
LinkedIn: City of Jacksonville - https://www.linkedin.com/company/city-of-jacksonville
Instagram: City of Jacksonville (@CityOfJax) - https://www.instagram.com/cityofjax/
 
For more information, visit http://www.coj.net/departments/public-affairs/social-media.aspx.
 
About the City of Jacksonville
The City of Jacksonville is the largest city by land mass in the contiguous United States, serving approximately 900,000 residents. Located in Duval County, City of Jacksonville leadership includes the mayor and a 19-member City Council. To learn more about the City of Jacksonville, visit COJ.net.