Hurricane Ian Community Brief
For Monday, September 26
As our community monitors Hurricane Ian, Leon County Emergency Management is preparing for response and recovery operations and executing our emergency plans for this powerful storm.
Hurricane Ian is continuing to rapidly intensify and now has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Indian Pass to Suwannee River. The storm will continue to strengthen and is expected to become a major hurricane late tonight before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Based on this afternoon’s forecast, there is approximately a 50% chance that we will experience sustained tropical storm-force winds in Leon County, which are expected to reach our area as early as Wednesday evening.
At this time, there is a 5-10% chance of hurricane-force winds in most of Leon County, although this will depend largely on the path the storm eventually takes. The National Weather Service is also forecasting locally heavy rainfall of 4” to 6” in Leon County through Friday night, again dependent upon the track the storm takes. Significant storm surge is expected in Florida coastal areas.
Some slowing and weakening is expected as Ian approaches the west coast of Florida; however, Ian is expected to be a large storm, and impacts will be felt well outside the forecast track cone. As such, we are preparing for this to be a dangerous and powerful storm regardless of where it makes landfall, and as always, our operational preparedness is extensive.
In preparation for storm-related impacts, our County teams have begun the following operations:
- Partially activated the County Emergency Operations Center with essential agency personnel and making preparations for potential full activation in the coming days.
- Commenced regular coordination with County and City work areas, law enforcement, and disaster-related community partners.
- Leon County Community and Media Relations launched preparedness and resilience messaging on social media, on the Leon County Emergency Information Portal, the Citizens Connect mobile app, and other public information methods.
- Public Works teams began preparing equipment to clear roads of downed trees and deploying sandbags.
- Began staffing the Citizens Information Line in the Emergency Operations Center on Monday morning to answer citizen questions and needs throughout the storm.
- Teams are surveying County facilities and grounds to secure and protect buildings prior to the storm.
Office, School, and University/College Closures
Classes at Florida State University and Florida A&M University’s Tallahassee campus will be canceled from Tuesday, September 27, through Friday, September 30. FSU and FAMU Tallahassee Campus will remain open and operational Tuesday, September 27, and Wednesday, September 28, but will close Thursday, September 29, and Friday, September 30.
The Florida A&M University Viticulture Center and Quincy facility will follow the Tallahassee campus schedule.
Operations continue to change minute-by-minute, so for the latest information, please check the websites of the office, school, and university/college.
As Hurricane Ian approaches our area, Leon County Emergency Management is actively monitoring and executing our emergency plans for this powerful storm. To stay up-to-date on Leon County preparedness actions, such as sand bag locations and preparedness tips, you have the following resources:
- LeonReady.com – The Leon Ready website is a hub of resources to help you, your family and your neighborhood prepare for disasters. There are a variety of resources available, like the County’s 2022 Disaster Survival Guide, a full list of disaster supplies for your disaster bucket, and so much more, to increase your readiness.
- Download the Leon County Citizens Connect Mobile App - Completely redesigned, the Citizens Connect mobile app puts timely emergency notifications at your fingertips through push notifications on your smartphone or other device. Be the first to know about shelter locations, road closures and service changes by downloading the application on the Apple and Google Play stores.
- Visit the Leon County Emergency Information Portal - Hosting the same information as the Citizens Connect app, the Emergency Information Portal can be accessed on a desktop or a mobile browser by visiting www.LeonCountyFL.gov/ei.
- Listen to 88.9 WFSU-FM - Citizens can tune in to 88.9 FM for the most up-to-date information from local public safety officials. Featuring to-the-minute reporting, WFSU, Leon County and the City of Tallahassee remain committed to getting information out on the radio as soon as possible.
- Additionally, iHeartRadio will also provide updates on the following stations: WFLA-FM 100.7, WFLF-FM 94.5, WTNT 94.9, KISS-FM 107.1, X-FM101.5, and The Beat-FM 105.3.
- Call Big Bend 2-1-1 - If you need community information, services and support any day of the year, Big Bend 2-1-1 is reachable by dialing either 2-1-1 or (850) 617-6333.
- Call (850) 606-3700 with questions - Leon County Emergency Management staff is available to answer questions from what you should prepare, act and recover.
- For updates on City of Tallahassee Utilities and other City services, visit Talgov.com.
- Insurance Helpline - The Florida Department of Financial Services offers a toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline to assist Florida's insurance consumers. Insurance Specialists are available to answer questions or concerns regarding insurance coverage and advocate on a consumer's behalf to resolve a dispute with an insurance company. To receive assistance, call 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) toll-free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Price Gouging - During a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell or lease certain commodities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price. To report price gouging, call 1-866-966-7226.
- If you are looking for gas, use GasBuddy.com to report fuel prices and availability.
The County and City made sandbags available to the public at the following locations:
County locations will be staffed to assist citizens. Sand, bags and ties will be available for public use. Residents are asked to take no more than 15 (25 City) bags to allow others to prepare. Staff will monitor the sites to replenish as needed.
- Leon County's Northeast Branch Library, 5513 Thomasville Road (County)
- Apalachee Regional Park (Solid Waste Management Facility), 7550 Apalachee Parkway (County)
- Fred George Park, 3043 Capital Circle NW (County)
- At the intersection of Oak Ridge at Ranchero roads (County)
- James Messer Park South, 2830 Jackson Bluff Rd (City)
- Springsax Park, 1000 Springsax Rd (City)
- The south parking lot of the Northwood Centre, 1940 North Monroe (City)
- Jack McLean Park, 700 Paul Russell Road (City)
Plan now because when disaster strikes it is too late to prepare. Leon County and the City of Tallahassee encourage citizens to put disaster supplies in a waterproof and durable five-gallon bucket. Keep these essential items near an exit door in your home or in your vehicle.
Some important items include a flashlight, medications, nonperishable food and water. Visit LeonReady.com to view the 2022 Disaster Survival Guide for disaster preparedness resources and a full list of preparedness items.
Once you and your family have a hurricane preparedness plan in place, check on your neighbors to ensure that they have one, too. Neighborhoods that prepare together create strong support networks that are vital to a speedy recovery. In the event of a major disaster, your neighbors will be your closest resource and support.
It is important to know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch is an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher) are possible within a specified area. Watches are generally issued 48 hours in advance of a hurricane winds. A warning indicates conditions are expected, and these are issued 36 hours in advance.
Prepare your home for strong winds by visually inspecting trees on your property for poor health and reduce the risk to your home by trimming hanging limbs. If you have any questions about your tree's health, contact a Certified Arborist to assist you.
Please prepare now. If you have any questions about how best to prepare, please call The Leon County Citizens Information Line at (850) 606-3700.
For current information about local preparedness and response, please follow Twitter.com/LeonCounty.