Emergency Management FAQ

Get Text and Email Alerts when breaking news happens in Santa Rosa County. Make sure you always have up-to-date safety information.


Get current information on weather, breaking news, webcams and weather radar in the Santa Rosa County area.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does Santa Rosa County have an Emergency Management Department?

In accordance with and pursuant to the authority of Chapter 252 of the Florida Statutes, the Board of County Commissioners of Santa Rosa County established emergency management regulations to provide effective and orderly governmental control and coordination of emergency operations, and further to establish and maintain an emergency management agency in support of the state comprehensive emergency plan and program. The purpose and intent of this ordinance is to ensure that preparations of Santa Rosa County will be adequate to deal with, reduce vulnerability to and to recover from emergencies or threats thereof, in order to safeguard the life and property of its citizens.

2. What is an emergency operations center (EOC)?

An EOC is a facility designed to serve as a local or regional support center. EOC's represent the physical location at which the coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities normally takes place.

3. What should I do to prepare for a disaster?

Know what hazards can affect your area. Make a plan that will work for all hazards and discuss it with all family members. Keep a disaster kit. Resupply the kit when necessary. Listen to emergency officials and local media for information.

4. How can I tell if I have to evacuate for a hurricane?

Evacuation Zones are designated depending on the strength of the storm based on the storm tidal surge.

5. How will I be notified to evacuate?

Depending on the type of incident, notification to evacuate can come from several sources. You may be notified by telephone through an automated system, news media or emergency responders may drive and give instructions over a loud speaker.

6. Where are the evacuation shelters located and what do I need to take when I go to a shelter?

See the shelters page on this web site.

7. What do I do with my pet?

Taking care of your pet in an emergency needs to be part of your emergency plan. Have food, water, sanitation and first aid items for your pet. If you must evacuate, take your pet with you. More information.

8. What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is defined as any sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to human life and property from a hazardous event. The goal of mitigation is to decrease the need for response as opposed to simply increasing the response capability.

9. What is the National Flood Insurance Program?

The program helps state, counties, municipalities and agencies to develop, implement and maintain appropriate floodplain management regulations. Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) NFIP offers federally backed insurance money to communities that agree to adopt and enforce minimum standards for flood plain management to reduce future flood damage. More information.

10. What should I do if my child is at school or daycare during an emergency or evacuation?

All schools and daycare facilities are required to have emergency procedures that address safety, emergency provisions, evacuations, school lockdowns and plans for reuniting parents with students. Make sure you are familiar with their plan and incorporate it into your family plan.

11. What protective actions should I take in the event of a tornado?

The majority of injuries and deaths related to tornadoes occur as a result of flying debris, collapse of buildings or structures, or being caught in an automobile. The best protection is to get in an interior room on the lowest level of a building. Mobile homes and automobiles are particularly vulnerable and should be avoided. If outdoors, a low area away from trees, such as a drainage ditch should be sought for protection.

12. If I have special medical needs do I go to a regular public shelter?

Persons with impairments, who are self-sufficient and capable of performing activities of daily living without assistance would go to a general public shelter. Those with special needs that would require assistance with medical care would be sheltered in a Special Needs Shelter. A care-giver must stay with you at the shelter. More information.

13. How long before the Fire or Police will come and check on me?

Depending on the type of disaster this could be minutes or days. In an emergency, these "first responders" assess the extent of the disaster, determine priorities for resources and begin rescue operations. Everyone needs to be ready to take care of themselves for 3-5 days. Make a Plan, Make a Kit and Stay Informed.