Central Florida counties on hold as Hurricane Elsa approaches


ORLANDO, Florida – As Hurricane Elsa pours into the Atlantic on a predicted path to Florida, local leaders are monitoring the situation and preparing in case the region sees significant impacts.

Elsa has been a Category 1 storm since Friday afternoon. Current projections show it is moving over Cuba this weekend and into Florida on Tuesday morning.

[EXPLAINER: It’s Atlantic hurricane season: Do you understand what ‘the cone’ really is? | Here’s what we know about Elsa]

While the path may change by then, Floridians should take the time now to prepare for the rain, wind and the potential loss of power.

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No emergency operations center has yet been activated locally. Instead, officials are on hold to decide exactly what will be needed in the coming days.

Check out the information below to see how local counties are preparing.

Brevard County

Currently, the focus is on monitoring the storm and preparing for the emergency operations center to activate.

Marion County

Robert Sullivan, the special needs coordinator for Marion County emergency management, said a decision will be made on Saturday whether the emergency operations center should be activated based on how Elsa is hitting Cuba. .

Orange County

“The status of the Orange County Emergency Operations Center (COU) is Level 3. Level 3 is generally a ‘watch phase’. Notification will be made to emergency support functions and / or departments that may need to take action as part of their day-to-day responsibilities.

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“Currently, Orange County emergency management teams are monitoring the weather conditions and the path of the storm. County staff prepare for the storm and work on the communications plan to report to the EOC, if necessary.

“We encourage residents to pay attention to weather reports and to use county emergency messages via OC Alert for current conditions in Orange County. We also ask residents to monitor Orange County social media.

“During this long holiday weekend, we urge residents to stay alert and prepare. Now is the time to inspect their homes and belongings and check their hurricane emergency kits. Residents can watch this preparation video for ideas. For all other information, they can visit: www.ocfl.net/storm for the latest updates, ”said a spokesperson.

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Osceola County

“The Osceola County Emergency Management Office is actively monitoring Hurricane Elsa, the first Atlantic hurricane of 2021. Potential impacts to Osceola County could include gusts of wind and sustained rain, as soon as possible. Tuesday morning.

“Florida is no stranger to disaster management and there are a host of resources online to help prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November. .

“Osceola County residents should review their disaster preparedness and #GetAPlan! The following tips are appropriate for Elsa and other tropical systems:

  • Residents should secure loose outdoor equipment and yard debris, and check pantry and medical supplies – and prepare a disaster supply kit, including food and water.

  • The distribution of sandbags is NOT PLANNED at this time.

  • To prepare a plan for your family and / or business, including how to stay safe during a hurricane or tropical storm, please visit the Florida Disaster Preparedness site at https://bit.ly/ 323mpkg
  • For the latest weather updates, including storm trackers and forecasts, please visit and follow the US National Weather Service Melbourne Florida: www.weather.gov/mlb/ and the National Hurricane Center (noaa.gov).
  • To receive real-time updates by phone, text or email, simply send the word #AlertOsceola to 888777 on your mobile device or online at https://alertosceola.org

“The Road & Bridge team has powered and organized all equipment, reviewed all response procedures with staff, monitors low-lying and flood-prone areas and is ready to deploy necessary equipment when needed. Solid Waste is working with residential services contractor, Waste Management, to provide information to residents on how to prepare for the storm when it comes to household waste and yard debris. This information is currently published at www.osceola.org/agencies-departments/public-works/solid-waste/.

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“The extensive indications of Hurricane Elsa remain very diverse. With the current forecast, Elsa would most likely bring tropical storm force winds to our general area around Tuesday morning – and earlier gusts and associated tropical showers and storms and a cumulative precipitation total forecast of 1 to 3 inches with amounts higher in areas receiving thunderstorm activity are expected, ”a spokesperson wrote in an email.

Seminole County

“The Seminole County Emergency Management Office and partners are closely monitoring Hurricane Elsa while preparing critical resources for an imminent tropical storm or hurricane threat to central Florida. Although the path of the storm remains uncertain, residents are encouraged to make a plan, obtain a kit and stay informed, ”a press release read.

The county has powered generators, prepared sandbag sites, and reviewed blueprints.

The county has provided the following advice to residents:

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  • Have enough supplies to last three days in the event of a power outage or other storm effects;

  • Know when, where and how to shut off your home’s main sources of water, gas and electricity in the event of a service outage; this avoids problems after the service is restored;

  • Make arrangements for pets and livestock in advance;

  • Plan how you will stay in touch with your family if you separate; ensure that contacts are up to date;

  • Prepare your home by removing or securing potential projectiles;

  • Check your insurance coverage; take pictures of your home and valuables;

  • Identify the safest place in your home, away from windows and on a lower level;

  • Know where you will be going, a shelter or a friend / relative’s home, in the event of an evacuation;

  • Residents with increased medical needs (dependence on electricity for medical devices, refrigeration for medications, etc.) should register with the County Special Needs Registry by visiting PrepareSeminole.org or calling 407-665- 5102 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).


  • Keep all important contents and documents in a waterproof container;

  • Make sure the pre-bottled water in your kit is less than six months old; have one gallon of water per day per household member;

  • Have a five-day supply of non-perishable food for each member of the household, including pets;

  • Include a first aid kit with medications and prescriptions (if necessary);


  • Activate storm-specific text alerts by sending ELSAINFO to 888-777;

  • Call the Citizen Information Line at 407-665-0000 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.);

Sumter County

County administrator Bradley Arnold said the emergency operations center was not activated, but staff members had been contacted in case that changed. They also make sure they have spare fuel and procedures in place in case shelters need to open.

“After going through (hurricane) Irma, those were some of the strongest winds, so we’re keeping an eye out for that. We are also looking at current water levels. The water levels look normal since we have normal precipitation, so when it comes to water levels, we have the capacity, ”said Arnold.

Volusia County

Volusia County officials are monitoring the storm and plan to determine later in the weekend whether operations need to be stepped up.

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