Update October 12, 2018 —
“I know some of you just went through a terrifying experience. The reports we’re getting of the destruction tell us that Hurricane Michael tore up homes and workplaces.
I want to say it did not batter your spirit, but that seems too glib. If your home was destroyed, if you experienced the anxiety of being cut off from all communications, if you spent hours fearing for your safety and for your loved ones, I know the healing will take time.
If you are among those traumatized by yesterday’s events, please take care of yourselves and your families. We will need your strength and commitment to help take care of others — later. If you escaped relatively unscathed, then please support those IFAS family members who were not so lucky.
As administrators, we can fix broken things. Indeed, we sent out crews today with generators, chainsaws, and even duct tape – whatever it takes to patch up the damage to facilities in Quincy and Marianna and Bay and Gulf counties.
Those tools don’t fix emotional pain. People do. Fortunately, you work with people who can help and who want to help.
If you need help, you are not weak. You are human. A hurricane is a terrifying thing. I hope asking colleagues for help is not.
Please reach out – to your co-workers, to your supervisors, to me – with what you need. Or let us know the truth when we ask how you’re doing and how we can help.
For now, I’m relieved to inform you that there are no reports of any IFAS employee being seriously physically harmed in the storm.
In time you’ll get a full accounting of what Michael damaged. We’ll never be able to catalog the emotional distress it has caused.
Today, Oct. 11, the Day After, is the day we begin a journey back to how things were on Oct. 9. It will take some time. Let’s walk together.”
As of today, some of our Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension agents are surveying the damage to their homes using imagery that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has made available: Hurricane Michael Imagery
The communities impacted can use all the help they can get.
If you feel inclined to help by donating money or volunteering, please visit Volunteer Florida. Through Volunteer Florida, Hurricane Michael dollars go quickly to where it’s most needed and volunteers are connected to official recovery efforts. Keep in mind that rogue volunteers can unintentionally strain limited disaster resources.
For more info, visit: https://www.volunteerflorida.org/
Update October 11, 2018 —
Thank you very much for your expressions of concern in the aftermath of the hurricane.
Information is spotty about the extent of Hurricane Michael damage to communities in Franklin, Gulf and Bay counties. We are in the process of checking in with our Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension agents in those areas so that we can share their news with you.
Although we understand the storm devastated homes and businesses, we do know our affected faculty and staff are safe. Most evacuated and are unable to return to their homes at present. According to Florida 511, all EB lanes of I-10 are closed from US-331, MM 85 to the Appalachicola River, MM 160. All WB lanes of I-10 are closed from the Appalachicola River to SR-77, MM 120 as of 7 a.m. this morning.
We invite you to share your updates on our Facebook thread: Hurricane Michael Updates
We also encourage you to visit “Hurricane Michael: Helpful Resources from UF/IFAS Extension,”which is being continually updated with new disaster recovery resources as they become known.
Original post begins here —
Hurricane Michael is now a category 4 hurricane. According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is expected to move inland over the Florida Panhandle or Big Bend area on Wednesday, October 10.
The best way to keep up with what is going on in your county regarding the hurricane is to subscribe to Florida’s new disaster alert system, Alert Florida. By signing up for the system, you will receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications in your community. Subscribe here: https://apps.floridadisaster.org/alertflorida/
The Florida Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters, published by Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS is available for free download. This handbook was created to help Floridians prepare for a natural hazard so that risks to family and property may be reduced. Access the online version of the handbook at the following link: Florida Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters
Additionally, the Florida Department of Emergency Management has developed an interactive web page to help generate a preparedness plan for your family or your business. Visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/getaplan/ for more information.
Additional preparedness resources:
- Preparing Your Boat for a Hurricane
- UF/IFAS Extension Disaster Handbook
- Questions and Answers About Flood Insurance
- UF/IFAS Disaster Preparation and Recovery
- Protecting with Plywood
- Disaster Planning Tips for Caregivers of the Elderly and People with Disabilities
- Safe Handling of Food and Water in a Hurricane or Related Disaster
- Preparing and Storing an Emergency Safe Drinking Water Supply
- Keeping a Household Inventory and Protecting Valuable Records
- Preparing for a Disaster: Strategies for Older Adults
- Living with Diabetes: Putting Together an Emergency Preparedness Plan
- Disaster Assistance for Aquaculture
To stay updated on Hurricane Michael, visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/