Mayor, Red Cross Urge Public to Prepare for Emergencies

May 28, 2013  
From left: Jack Morgan, CEO North Florida Region of the American Red Cross; Mayor Alvin Brown; Fire Chief Martin Senterfitt; Acting Emergency Preparedness Director Captain William Estep

Hurricane Season Starts Saturday, But Residents Can Plan Now For All Hazards

Hurricane season starts Saturday, but the public should prepare now for any emergency.

Proper planning can help people have the right plan in place to respond and recover from emergencies – not just storms, but fires, floods and other hazards. Mayor Alvin Brown and leaders of the American Red Cross of Northeast Florida and Duval County Emergency Management are providing resources to assist residents and business owners with precautions in 2013.

The City of Jacksonville and partner agencies are already prepared to operate and adapt to conditions during an emergency. This month, the city and agencies participated in a statewide emergency preparedness exercise to prepare Emergency Operations Centers across Florida for the impending Hurricane Season that starts June 1. Residents can plan ahead using resources available through the JaxReady emergency preparedness program administered by Duval County Emergency Management, the Red Cross and partner agencies.

“We’re reinforcing our plans for recovery – and you should be too,” said Mayor Brown. “I encourage everyone to think ahead and have a plan. Think about what it will take to reopen the doors or get back into your home after a disaster strikes. You can never prepare too much.”

The public can go to to find information about building a kit with 72 hours of food, water and supplies, and to create and use a plan for people who have to stay at home or evacuate during an emergency. There is also information about current conditions, and how to seek assistance and recover from storms.

“The time that you and your family invest in preparing today helps all of us during the recovery process,” said Jack Morgan, CEO of the North Florida Region of the American Red Cross. “We know that when communities are prepared before a disaster strikes; the better communities are able to recover financially, emotionally and physically.”

JaxReady also includes information about how people with special medical needs can register for sheltering and transportation needs. Anyone with special medical needs assistance can find information about how to register at or by calling Duval County Emergency Management at (904) 630-2489.

This year, the Brown administration spearheaded a public-private partnership at no cost to taxpayers to produce and distribute the annual emergency preparedness guide. The JaxReady publication will be provided in the Sunday, June 2, edition of the Florida Times-Union, and also made available at various government buildings and by the American Red Cross of Northeast Florida.

The guide also will be online at, the online home of Duval County Emergency Management.

The partnership includes Times-Union Media, publishers of the Florida Times-Union and, and broadcast partner First Coast News on WJXX (ABC 25) and WTLV (NBC 120, as well as WJCT (89.9 FM), the local home of NPR and PBS.