If you’re sheltering in place, have been asked to evacuate and your home is in the path of Hurricane Ian or Tropical Storm Ian, the state wants you to fill out a survey that may help in rescuing you should you need it in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
It’s a brief, online survey–actually, a form of registration–that would record your name, address, home and mobile phone numbers, the number of people sheltering in your households, whether you have pets, and whether anyone sheltering is disabled or has other functional needs. Click here to fill it out. It takes about one minute to do so.
“The Shelter in Place survey is designed to provide critical information to first responders about the demographics of your household so that they can aid your families as soon as possible,” Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Emergency Management agency–and a former director of Flagler’s Emergency Management division– said early this afternoon, as Hurricane Ian was just beginning to make landfall with catastrophic winds in southwest Florida.
Numerous people had decided to shelter in place in the path of the storm. “This is primarily for those who did not evacuate so that we know where you’re at,” Guthrie said. “This is not a substitute for 911. If you have an immediate need, you need first responder assistance, you need to dial 911. Please understand that those 911 services may not be able to come to you right now.”
First-responder services such as fire rescue and even law enforcement are generally suspended when sustained winds reach or exceed 45 miles per hour. That will again be the case in Flagler County, where Ian impacts are expected either as a hurricane or as a tropical storm Friday.
Flagler County has issued evacuation orders effective after 1 p.m. today for residents and visitors in mobile homes and RVs countywide, for the barrier island from Flagler Beach to Marineland, for the Bulowville neighborhoods east of John Anderson Highway and the Palm Drive and Lambert Avenue neighborhoods in Flagler Beach on the mainland. Non-elevated homes in the low-lying areas surrounding and near Crescent Lake and Dead Lake, including Daytona North, or the Mondex, are also in the evacuation order.
The state, along with the National Guard, were mobilizing thousands of personnel, along with aircraft, boats and high-water vehicles to deploy in the near-immediate aftermath of the storm and begin search and rescue missions.
Guthrie said that for the duration of the storm, don’t be fooled if you suddenly find yourself in a calm, even sunny zone: at that point you’re in the eye of the storm. ” Stay inside. Stay indoors do not go outside. You do not know when that eyewall will collapse, so please stay safe,” he said during a 1 p.m. press conference Wednesday.
“Avoid downed power lines and downed trees and standing water when it is over,” he said. “Use extreme caution. If you see any type of line, do not cut them. Do not cut fiber optic lines. Fiber optics are the backbone of our communication system. It allows us to have connectivity for your cellular devices on wireless networks. It provides access to the internet. It provides access to social media. Please do not cut fiber optic lines. To the communities beginning to experience these devastating impacts of hurricane Ian, know that the state of Florida is standing with you. We have plenty of resources to respond to your needs.”
He said the state has “thousands of boots on the ground. We’re ready to assist you. We will make sure that all available resources are used to help you through this difficult time. Please do everything you can right now to stay safe.”