The hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. Residents should make preparations before the hurricane season begins. The information below will help you learn how to prepare for a storm, what to do during the storm and what to be aware of after the storm has passed.
Make A Plan:
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.
Emergency Checklist: Disaster Supply Kit Checklist
How to Stay Informed:
If a storm or other disaster immediately threatens our area, updates will be provided on the City of Fort Pierce Alert Center located at the top of the homepage and our social media pages. The City encourages all residents to sign up for Alert St. Lucie notifications that provide instant updates and alerts from St. Lucie County's Emergency Command Center in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.
Before a Hurricane Watch or Warning Is Announced
- Check to be certain your emergency equipment is in good working order and that you have enough supplies to last at least two weeks.
- Obtain and store materials necessary to properly secure your home.
- Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Cut weak branches and trees that could fall on your home. When trimming, try to create a channel through the foliage to the center of the tree to allow for airflow.
- Note: Do not trim trees and shrubs after a watch or warning is announced. Trash pick-ups will be suspended, and your trimmings can become dangerous airborne projectiles propelled by the storm’s high winds.
- State officials have recommended that residents who live in adequately built homes stay in their homes. It is recommended that you choose an interior room separated by two walls from the outside.
- Keep a list of prescribed medications and include them in your food and water storage plans.
- Review your insurance policy to ensure it provides adequate coverage.
Plan Evacuation Alternatives Now
- Evacuations are scheduled by county and City officials. If you are instructed to evacuate, have a plan.
- If you expect to evacuate your home in the event of a hurricane, plan in advance where you will stay, how you will get there, and what supplies you will take.
- If you need transportation to a public shelter due to a "special need" such as a physical disability or a neurological or psychological disorder, register with the County Office of Emergency Management in advance. Do not wait until a storm approaches.
- If you or a family member receives home health care or depends on electrical life-support equipment, discuss emergency plans with your agency representative. Check with your physician and, if necessary, make arrangements now with a hospital or special needs shelter to stay there if you must evacuate.
Evacuations Routes and Shelter Locations
Evacuate or Stay?
Most emergency managers agree that if you are in a well-built home and not in an evacuation zone the best option is often to secure your residence and ride out the storm there.
When local Emergency Management officials give notification that conditions have escalated and it is time to evacuate particular areas.
How will you know?
- Register for Alert St. Lucie and get notifications
- NOAA weather and all-hazards radio
- Commercial radio and TV stations
- Police patrol cars with their “public announcement” systems
- Door-to-door warnings from local emergency officials
- Your neighbors
Reminder: Only stay at home if you have NOT been ordered to leave. If you have been told to leave, do so immediately.
Shelter In Place:
Sheltering is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, where you work or other location when other emergencies arise. The length of time you are required to take shelter may be short, such as during a Hurricane, or during a pandemic. In all cases, it is important that you stay informed and follow the instructions of local authorities.
I’m staying, now what?
- Fill bathtub(s) and large containers for sanitary purposes
- Fill sterilized containers with water for a two-week supply of drinking water
- Turn refrigerator and freezers to maximum cold and open only when necessary
- Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities
- Stay inside a well-constructed building
- Stay away from windows and doors, even if they are covered
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway
- Take a battery powered radio and a flashlight with you
- Close all interior doors
- Secure and brace exterior doors, particularly double inward opening doors and garage doors
- If you are in a two-story house, go to an interior first floor room, such as bathroom, closet or under the stairs
- Keep a full tank of gas
- Be alert for tornadoes which often are spawned by hurricanes
- If the eye of the hurricane passes over your area be aware that the improved weather conditions are temporary and that the storm conditions will return with the winds coming from the opposite direction sometimes in a matter of just a few minutes
- If you are in a multiple story building and away from the water, go to the first or second floor and take refuge in the halls or other interior rooms away from windows (interior stairwells and areas around elevator shafts are generally the strongest part of the building)
- Tune to WQCS 88.9 FM at 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to hear emergency information about Port St. Lucie. Remain indoors until the official "all clear" is given. Pay strict attention to instructions from official sources such as your local Emergency Management Office, the American Red Cross and the police.
- Do not use your telephone unless you have an emergency. Do not call 9-1-1 except for life threatening situations.
- Call (800) 4OUTAGE immediately to report hazards such as a downed power line, broken gas or water mains, or overturned gas tanks.
Water supplies may be contaminated during a hurricane. Public officials will issue a boil-water order immediately after the hurricane passes. The boil-water order will remain in effect for at least 72 hours. During this time, use only your pre-stored water for drinking or cooking.
Before using any food from the refrigerator, be sure to check it for spoilage. Use pre-stored, dry or canned food.
- Connecting a portable or recreational vehicle (RV) generator to home wiring can cause safety hazards. Before using an RV or portable generator, it is important to turn off electricity at your home’s main circuit breaker or fuse box. When electric service is restored, take another safety step if you’re using a RV or portable generator; disconnect it before turning on power to your home.
- When using a portable generator make sure it is located and operated outside the home. You can then run a heavy duty, properly grounded extension cord inside the home to power your electrical appliances.
Electrical hazards and service interruptions
- Do not touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind under any circumstances.
- Call FPL immediately to report hazards such as a downed power line. Do not cut trees or limbs that are touching or even near power lines.
- Keep anyone you see, especially children, far away from power lines, trees in contact with power lines, and work crews.
- Do not pile debris near or on top of power line equipment such as poles, transformers, or downed electrical wiring. Crews will be working to restore power and will be slowed by any items that block access to electrical equipment.
- Do not report interruptions in electric service. FPUA and FPL has plans to restore service as quickly as possible after the storm clears the area. Report individual trouble only after service has been generally restored in your neighborhood.
- Evacuation routes will be the first to be cleared after an incident, followed by main roads leading to these routes.
- Return home only when authorities advise it is safe to do so. Remember, you may be restricted from accessing your home after a major disaster because of hazardous conditions. If re-entry is permitted, for security reasons you may be required to present proof of residency, be sure to have this proof available.
- Drive only if absolutely necessary, avoid sight-seeing.
- Flooding may force snakes, insects or animals to seek higher ground. Beware of these, and instruct your children of the dangers.
- Also caution children about playing in standing puddles or water-filled swales. This water in addition to harboring snakes, harbors a great many bacterial strains which can cause mild to severe life-threatening illnesses.
- Enter your home with caution. Wear heavy shoes or boots for protection against glass or other debris.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home.
- Emergency officials will set up staging areas throughout the community; it is from these staging areas that assistance will be available.
- If you smell gas, turn off the main valve, open the windows, and leave the house immediately.
- If you have been instructed by local officials to shut off your utilities, particularly gas, always have utilities turned back on by a professional!
- Check for water leaks, if one is suspected, shut off the water at the main water valve.
- Look for electrical system damage. If there is damage to the electrical system, turn off the system at the main circuit breaker or fuse box.
- Check electrical appliances. If any electrical appliances are wet, turn off the main power switch in the house. Unplug the appliance, dry it out, then reconnect it and turn the main power switch back on.
- Emergency cooking. If you are using a charcoal or gas grill or Hibachi, be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and do your cooking outside. Food can also be heated with candle warmers, chafing dishes and fondue pots. Canned foods can be eaten directly out of the can, although the can should be opened and the label removed before cooking.
- Keeping clean is essential to good health. Because water should be reserved for drinking purposes, you should consider alternatives to water for cleansing the body. These include rubbing alcohol, lotions containing alcohol, shaving lotions, face creams and hand lotions, and towelettes.
- Respond to children’s fears. Concentrate on your child’s emotional needs. Having children participate in the family’s recovery activities will help them feel that their life will return to “normal”. Children are most afraid that...the event will happen again; someone will be injured or killed; they will be separated from the family; they will be left alone. Make sure your children know how to call for help and know their family name, address and phone number.
- Gas service. Should your gas service be interrupted or go off prior to, during, or following an incident, follow these procedures: Turn the main valve off. Make sure all gas appliances (water heaters, dryers, stoves, pool heaters) are off. Do not turn your gas on yourself; call your provider to do it.
- Check that sewage lines are intact before flushing toilets.
- Check house, roof and chimney for structural damage.
- Open closets and cupboards carefully.
- Clean up medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately.
- Just as human beings are traumatized by disasters, so are domestic pets. The behavior of pets may change dramatically after a disaster. Normally quiet and docile cats and dogs may become loud and vicious. Monitor animals closely. Leash or place dogs in a fenced yard.
Tropical Storm Isaias Advisory 1
July 30, 2020, 5:30 PM
The City of Fort Pierce is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Isaias and is preparing for any potential impact. Residents should stay alert to forecast changes by reliable sources and have plans in place in the event that this storm impacts our area.
We are committed to keeping our residents safe and informed - all public notices will be provided on the city’s website at www.cityoffortpierce.com, social media channels and Fort Pierce TV Channel 27. Residents are also urged to sign up for St. Lucie County's Alert St. Lucie program to get emergency notifications sent directly to their phone, email or text: www.stlucieco.gov/Alert
Public Information Helpline
St. Lucie County’s Emergency Operations Center will be opening its Public Information Lines on Friday, July 31 from 12pm – 6pm and Saturday, August 1 for 24 hours beginning at 8am. That number is 772-460-HELP (4357). Please reserve 911 for emergency calls.
Solid Waste Collection
Solid Waste has grapple trucks circulating throughout the city to pick up debris from right of ways. Now is not the time to do major yard work and we are asking residents to please refrain from cutting down vegetation or doing major projects until the storm passes. Residents should not place any additional debris at the curb.
The City of Fort Pierce is hosting a free self-serve sandbag program for residents at three (3) City of Fort Pierce parks starting July 30 through the end of hurricane season. The Public Works Department placed sand piles at NW Pioneers, MLK Dreamland, and Jaycee Parks. Residents should bring their own bags and shovel. Parks are open daily from dawn to dusk.
Residents and businesses should use this time to prepare. If you do not have an emergency plan, visit: http://floridadisaster.org/getaplan/