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Feeling Famous?

code_red_smallDid you get a call or an email from Sheriff Chris Blair this week? If you didn’t we wanted to help spread the word.

Most people hear “CodeRed” and think of movies. Right here in Marion County we have a CodeRED Emergency Notification System. When you sign up for it, the system sends you alerts during emergencies, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, and additional general notifications if you’d like them. You can get the alerts on your email or phone(call or text).

2-1-1 is a great way to learn about disaster preparedness and emergency resources, so give us a call, text us(send your zip code to 898-211) or hey, you’re online now – you can even chat with us live. Call us to learn about programs like signing up for the special needs registry, weatherization programs to help fix a hole in your roof, or how to protect your house from wildfires. Forgot the non-emergency number for the Sheriff or your local police? We have that too, simply dial 2-1-1 for free 24 hours a day!


Are you ready for 200mph winds?

hurricaneseasonJune 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season, but Florida has already had a FEMA disaster declaration just a few weeks ago due to severe storms and tornadoes, causing flooding and a gas explosion. At least 3 people died in Florida, hundreds were injured, and over 300 calls came in to officials from people who were stranded.

So if you don’t have a plan yet, now is a great time to make one. Don’t know where to start? Florida Disaster can help you create a plan to keep your family, including your pets, safe during a disaster. FLASH.org also has videos and step by step guides to make your home safer during a hurricane. Do you have a supply kit for your family? If you’ll be re-stocking your kit, Gov. Scott approved tax free hurricane supplies from (more…)

Q & A: Goodbye Hurricanes, Hello Fire

floridadisaster.orgThe end of hurricane season is just around the corner on November 30th, but did you know that wildfire season in Florida is 12 months long? However, according to floridadisaster.org, “most wildfires occur during the January-June period when tropical moisture is cut off to the state and cold fronts bring dry, windy conditions”. While wildfire is good for the forests, Florida has the second highest number of wildfires in the nation, and sometimes they can negatively impact our communities.

There are some great tips for fire prevention that can be found by simply dialing 2-1-1 to get the information for your local department of emergency management or fire department. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is a great source of information about what programs are in place to prevent wildfires. Floridadisaster.org has information for children and adults about what we can do in our homes and communities to prevent and prepare for a possible fire. They also have a great page for kids to learn more about wildfires and other natural disasters that affect Florida.

Did you know that you can visit the Ocala National Forest website to see what level the fire risk is on a daily basis?

A Little Bird Told Me… About Disaster Behavioral Health and Preparedness

PHE logo2-1-1 Marion County joined in on a conversation about Behavioral Health and Disaster Preparedness today on Twitter #TalkWithUs.  Below we are sharing some links to resources that were shared during the conversation.

United Way 2-1-1

Phone App: Tactical Breather

Phone Apps – Public Health Emergency

American Psychological Association : Help Center

American Psychological Association : Road to Resilience after a traumatic event


Do you have a disaster plan?

hurricaneJune 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. If you don’t have a plan yet, now is a good time to make one. Don’t know where to start? Florida Disaster can help you create a plan to keep your family, including your pets, safe during a disaster. FLASH.org also has videos and step by step guides to make your home safer during a hurricane. Do you have a supply kit for your family?

Do you have a disability or know someone who does? Registering with the Department of Emergency Management before a disaster lets them know if they have sufficient equipment and shelters. It also benefits you with the services they provide during a disaster! For Marion County residents, visit the Department of Emergency Services Special Needs Program to register. For people outside of Marion County, you can visit this website to get information on your county and how to register for the special needs registry.

Any time there is a natural disaster, there is a powerful community response of people wanting to help. Volunteers are needed before, during and after an event to help in times of disaster. Agencies such as Marion County Medical Reserve Corps and American Red Cross are always in need of volunteers. Post disaster, contact the local United Way to inquire about giving financial contributions to assist in community recovery.

Remember, 2-1-1 is available before, during and after a disaster to help 24 hours a day.

What’s new at 2-1-1?

WhatsNewIn April at 2-1-1 we added the following programs and agencies to our database for agencies which serve Marion County. Below each agency/program you’ll see “Ask 2-1-1”, these are the key terms you can use to look up the resources on your own via our online database, or when you call 2-1-1 you can mention those terms to the Information and Referral Specialist to get a list of resources for that service in your area.


Look for the Helpers, Be the Caring People in this World

rogers-framedIn the wake of disaster, especially when it is far away, you can be left with a desire to act, but wondering: What Can I Do? There is a meme with a quote from Mr. Rogers which has been making the rounds on the internet:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Even though the disaster may be far away, there is so much that we can do right here in our county to be the caring people in this world, to be the helpers, in the aftermath of a disaster and in our every day lives. 2-1-1 would like to share a list of ways you can help below. Please dial 2-1-1 to get connected to local resources where you can get started. (more…)

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