Heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding, particularly of low lying and urban areas, is possible beginning today, Wed., May 25, through the evening of Thurs., May 26 along with a tornado threat through Thursday morning, according to the US National Weather Service in Mobile. There is also a high risk of rip currents along Navarre Beach through Friday night. Santa Rosa County Emergency Management officials encourage residents to monitor local weather reports and have multiple ways to receive weather warnings, especially overnight.
The county's public works department will soon have sand available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the following locations:
- The corner of Leisure St. and Citrus Dr. in Navarre
- Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
- Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace
- The corner of Pine Forest Rd. and Carroll Rd. in Milton
Residents must provide their own sandbags and shovel. Bags can be purchased at many local hardware stores. For information on how to make and use sandbags, visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. While sandbags can help mitigate to an extent, buying flood insurance is the best protection against flood loss.
Floods are the nation's most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year. And get it sooner rather than later - flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Residents or businesses who experience damage from storms (including flood damage) may submit a report to Santa Rosa County online through the Citizen Damage Report form. To report the flooding of a ditch or street, use the online Citizen Work Request form.
Prepare now for severe weather. Make sure all family members know the plan.
- Have multiple ways of receiving alerts. This cannot be stressed strongly enough.
- Every home should have a NOAA weather radio, the first line of defense before relying on alerts through a smartphone.
- Smartphone weather apps are also an excellent delivery source of severe weather information and other disaster updates - especially in the overnight hours. Santa Rosa County's alert app - AlertSantaRosa.com - provides updates on emergency incidents (hazardous materials as well as severe weather) in the county at addresses of your choice (work, school, home, etc).
- Be sure that you have not disabled your alerts on your phone and that it is fully charged and within reach. If you use the "Do Not Disturb" feature on your phone at night, turn it off so that any emergency calls may come through.
- Have a kit with supplies ready to go when a tornado warning is issued. Suggested items to include are:
- A bike helmet or some form of head protection for each family member.
- A flashlight or electric lantern.
- Charged cell phone power bank.
- A whistle or air horn in the event you are trapped under debris.
- First aid kit.
- Know where you will go (interior rooms, basement - never a car or mobile home) if a tornado warning is issued and don't forget your pets!
For current weather events, visit www.weather.gov/mob. For information on preparing for disasters, visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency.
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