Escambia County has been placed under a Tropical Storm Warning for Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, and county officials are encouraging residents to closely monitor weather conditions over the next 36 hours.
It is still too early to determine what direct impacts the Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 might have on Escambia County and Northwest Florida, but according to the National Weather Service in Mobile heavy rainfall, strong wind gusts, flash flood conditions, high surf and deadly rip currents are expected Friday evening into Saturday morning.
- A coastal flood watch is in effect Thursday afternoon through Saturday evening.
- Numerous to widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected across the region.
- A high surf advisory and high rip current risk also remain in effect through Sunday morning.
Escambia County Emergency Management is closely monitoring this system, including participating in weather conference calls with the National Weather Service and state. Residents are urged to do the same by monitoring our local media for the most up-to-date forecasts several times a day.
Residents should also take the time now to double check their storm supplies and preparations so that if and when a confirmed threat develops, they are ready. The key to reducing the stress and impact on your family is to prepare by taking the following steps:
Review or make a family plan. This includes:
- Knowing your evacuation zone is one of the most important hurricane preparation steps you can take. It is very important that you look up your evacuation zone each year to find out if and when you should evacuate, even if you have looked it up in the past, as zones can change. Most importantly, don’t rely on previous storm experience. Just because you weathered the last storm, doesn’t mean you will weather this one. Look up your address online at myescambia.com/knowyourzone.
- Know where you will go. If you live in an evacuation zone, know where you will go and how you will get there. Will you go to a friend or relative’s home, a hotel, or as a last resort, a public shelter? It is always easier to go tens of miles, not hundreds. Find a list of shelters, including special needs and pet-friendly here.
- Have a communication plan. Plan now how you will contact one another and where you will meet.
- Plan for those with special needs. Make arrangements in advance to accommodate those in your family with special needs like the elderly, children and pets. Always have at least an extra 3-10 days stock of medical supplies, medication and any other special items you may need.
- Understand Watch vs. Warning, the hurricane cone and what steps you need to take when.
- Take photos of important documents and your valuables. Save these to a secure cloud site, thumb drive or keep on your mobile device.
Get a kit - Your disaster kit should have at least three days of nonperishable food and three gallons of water for each person and pet in your home, along with other supplies. See our latest disaster guide shopping list.
Stay informed - For the latest information on severe weather impacting Escambia County, residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts on myescambia.com, like Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook and follow @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter.
Additional local resources: