Water-Related News

Polk County Preparing for Tropical Storm Erika

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BARTOW – Polk County Emergency Management is working with partners at the local and state level to monitor and prepare for any impact from Tropical Storm Erika. There’s much uncertainty as to the intensity and track of the this storm, so we recommend that residents take the following steps now to prepare for the impact of damaging winds and rain that are typically associated with hurricane or tropical storm conditions.

  • Polk County Emergency Management recommends having 72 hours’ worth of food and water for each member of the family including pets
  • Be alert for potential of downed power lines, trees and other street fixtures.
  • Should we experience urban or flash flooding, do not attempt to drive through waters.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters and drains. Hurricanes and tropical storms often bring torrential rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding.
  • Bring in outdoor items such as lawn furniture, trash and recycling bins, hanging plants, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds and cause damage.
  • Make sure storage sheds, children’s playhouses or other outbuildings are securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors.
  • Keep your vehicles fully fueled.
  • Have a certain amount of cash available. If power is lost, ATMs may not be working.
  • Make a record of your personal property. Keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim. Back it up with photographs or video.
  • Protect your insurance policies and other important documents in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a watertight box. Many people back up important documents online.
  • Lock doors and windows to ensure that they are closed tight to help protect against strong winds and rain.

For more information on disaster preparation including how to prepare a home inventory checklist, what you should have in your 72-hour disaster kit, and sandbagging information, visit www.polk-county.net/prepare.

At this time, no school closures or shelter activations have been scheduled. If, in the future, conditions warrant school closures or shelter activations, information will be communicated at that time. Polk County Board of County Commissioners has not issued any government closures.

For the most updated information, please continue to monitor your local news media or call the Citizen’s Information Line at (863) 401-2234 (locally) or toll-free 866-661-0228. Information is also available on PGTV (Bright House 644, Comcast 5 or Verizon 20), or check the county website for updates www.polk-county.net. You may also obtain further emergency information at www.facebook.com/polkcountyem and www.twitter.com/polkemergency.