Road closures, park closures, waste collection, and recovery efforts
Follow OsceolaCountyFL on social media for the latest storm and hurricane alerts.
Are you doing repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian? Refer to the document below to find out what work requires a permit and other tips.
Solid Waste Collection
Unincorporated Osceola County: Residents can visit WMFLoridaStorm.com for real-time updates regarding collection before, during, and after the storm. Waste Management resumed post-Nicole curbside collection on Friday, November 11th.
As of October 24 the Good Samaritan Village evacuation order has been lifted.
Nov 1, 2022: Due to damages sustained by Hurricane Ian the following parks are closed until further notice: Shingle Creek -Steffee Landing, Steffee Homestead, Marsh Landing, Makinson Island.
County Boat Ramps
Oct 21, 2022: SAFETY REMINDER: Due to hazards created by recent flooding, the following boat ramps will remain closed: Partin Triangle and C-Gate 33. All other boat ramps are now open. Please contact 407-742-8653 for further information.
Boil Water Alerts
The Florida Department of Health’s Osceola County office has issued several boil water alerts which are available online here.
For residents seeking assistant with mold remediation in their homes, United Methodist Committee of Relief (UMCOR) offers their services free of charge. Contact the organization at 800-862-4246 or 888-252-6174.
Another option is Crisis Clean-Up, another free service. Get information at www.CrisisCleanUp.org or call the hotline for Hurricane Ian at (800) 451-1954.
Disaster Recovery Center
ALL DRCs are closed Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, 11/24/2022) through Sunday, 11/27/2022. They will reopen Monday, 11/28/2022 at regularly scheduled time.
HART MEMORIAL LIBRARY
211 E. Dakin Avenue
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sunday
A federal Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is open at the Hart Memorial Library (211 E Dakin Ave.) in downtown Kissimmee as a one-stop-shop for individuals and businesses recovering from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian.
In partnership with FEMA, state and county agencies, the DRC services as a key resource. The DRC is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Some of the services that the DRC provides include:
- Guidance regarding disaster recovery assistance and programs for survivors
- Clarification of any written correspondence received from FEMA
- Housing assistance and rental resource information
- Answers to questions, resolution to problems and referrals to agencies that may provide further assistance
- Status of applications being processed by FEMA
- Small Business Administration (SBA) program information regarding assistance
Registration is the first step in recovery and requires information such as insurance policies, and bank information for possible direct transfer of funds. Survivors are urged to register before visiting a DRC. To register, go online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Help is available in most languages and phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) seven days a week until further notice.
If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register in one of the following ways:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-462-7585.
- Download the FEMA Mobile App and apply.
Un Centro Federal de Recuperación por Desastre (DRC) está abierto en la Biblioteca Hart Memorial (211 E Dakin Ave.) en downtown Kissimmee como un servicio integral para individuos y negocios que se recuperan de los devastadores impactos del huracán Ian.
En asociación con FEMA, agencias estatales y del condado, el DRC sirve como un recurso clave. El DRC, ubicado en 211 E Dakin Ave., estará abierto de 9 a.m. a 6 p.m., siete días a la semana.
Algunos de los servicios que proporcionará la DRC incluyen:
- Orientación sobre asistencia de recuperación por desastre y programas para sobrevivientes
- Aclaración de cualquier correspondencia recibida de FEMA
- Asistencia de vivienda e información de recursos de alquiler
- Respuestas a preguntas, resolución de problemas y referencias a agencias que pueden proporcionar asistencia adicional
- Estado de las solicitudes que están siendo procesadas por FEMA
- Información del programa de Administración de Pequeñas Empresas (SBA) con respecto a la asistencia
El registro es el primer paso en la recuperación y requiere información como pólizas de seguro e información bancaria para una posible transferencia directa de fondos. Se insta a los sobrevivientes a registrarse antes de visitar un DRC. Para registrarse, visite www.DisasterAssistance.gov o llame a la línea de ayuda de FEMA al 800-621-3362. La ayuda está disponible en la mayoría de los idiomas y las líneas telefónicas están abiertas de 7 a. m. a 11 p. m. EST los siete días de la semana hasta nuevo aviso.
Si tiene teléfono y/o acceso a Internet, puede registrarse de una de las siguientes maneras:
- En línea en DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Llame a la Línea de Ayuda de FEMA al 800-621-3362 para voz, 711 y Servicio de Retransmisión de Video (VRS). Si tiene problemas de audición o tiene una discapacidad del habla y usa un TTY, llame al 800-462-7585.
- Descargue la aplicación móvil de FEMA y presente su solicitud.
Osceola County is eligible for FEMA assistance after Hurricane Ian. Individuals and households in Osceola can apply for FEMA Individual Assistance, which may include temporary housing assistance, basic home repairs and certain other uninsured disaster-related needs. Survivors can apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov, by calling 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Time, or by using the FEMA mobile app. If you use a relay service such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.
El Condado Osceola es elegible para recibir asistencia de FEMA después del huracán Ian. Las personas y los hogares en Osceola pueden solicitar Asistencia Individual de FEMA, que puede incluir asistencia de vivienda temporal, reparaciones básicas del hogar y otras necesidades relacionadas con desastres no aseguradas. Los sobrevivientes pueden solicitar asistencia por desastre en disasterassistance.gov, llamando al 800-621-3362 de 7 a.m. a 11 p.m. EST, o usando la aplicación móvil de FEMA. Si utiliza un servicio de retransmisión, como el servicio de retransmisión de video (VRS), el servicio telefónico con subtítulos u otros, proporcione a FEMA el número de ese servicio.
Current resources available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian.
SBA Hurricane Ian Disaster Business Recovery Webinar (October 19 or 20, 2022) – Join this FREE webinar for an overview of the agency’s low-interest disaster loan program for businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. The session will focus on disaster business loans for physical losses (repair and replacement needs) and economic injury (working capital), followed by a Q & A period. Businesses can register for one of the sessions available on October 19 or 20 at 1 p.m.
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is now available, Osceola County is among eligible areas - Read full details here.
Business Disaster Assistance Resources - Enterprise Florida has launched a Disaster Assistance Resources Page with a list of state and federal resources available for businesses to utilize in their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
Business Damage Assessment Survey - The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Division of Emergency Management has activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gather information about how Hurricane Ian has impacted your business. This information will provide valuable economic impact information to the state and federal governments as economic assistance options are evaluated.
Disaster Unemployment Assistance
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. Individuals affected in the designated-disaster areas must file DUA applications by December 30, 2022.
DUA is available for weeks of unemployment beginning 9/25/2022 until 4/1/2023, as long as the individual’s unemployment continues to be a direct result of Hurricane Ian. DUA is only available for those individuals who are unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Ian. If a claimant is currently receiving state Reemployment Assistance they will not be eligible for DUA.
To apply online, visit CONNECT.MyFlorida.com or call 1-800-385-3920 to apply by telephone, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Eastern Time. For general information about Reemployment Assistance or claim-specific questions call 1-833-FL-APPLY (1-833-352-7759).
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is accepting applications for DUA from residents and businesses in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties.
Financial Resources – The following resources are available for businesses in need of disaster assistance:
- Fact Sheet – What you need to know about SBA Disaster Assistance
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- CareerSource Central Florida operations: we are continuing to operate virtually today, and our career coaches can be reached at 1 800- 757-4598. We plan to resume in-person service tomorrow at our five career center locations.
- New announcement from DEO : Reemployment Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance is now available to eligible Floridians – including residents of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties – beginning today, Monday October 3, 2022. (click here to read full release)
- KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- For customers receiving reemployment assistance -- work search reporting, waiting week, and Employ Florida registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian in FEMA disaster-declared counties.
- Additionally, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) is available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ian and are not eligible for regular state or Federal Reemployment Assistance benefits. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to those who are ineligible to receive federal or state Reemployment Assistance benefits and meets one of the following requirements:
- Is unemployed as a direct result of the major disaster;
- Was scheduled to start employment but was unable to as a direct result of the major disaster;
- Is unable to reach their job or self-employment location because the individual has to travel through an affected area and is prevented from doing so as a direct result of the major disaster;
- Is unable to work because of an injury that was a direct result of the major disaster; or
- Has become the primary breadwinner because the head of the household died as a direct result of the major disaster.
Volunteers and Donations
- Monetary Donations:
- Financial contributions can be provided to Osceola REDI (Recovery from Emergency Disaster Initiative) so that specific items identified as needed can be purchased. Osceola REDI is a coalition of governmental agencies, faith-based and non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals dedicated to assisting those who have been victims of disaster by pooling community resources and assistance. This non-profit organization provides comprehensive and integrated emergency management assistance to help Osceola County.
- Clothing and Donations:
- Goodwill Vouchers will be provided for those in Red Cross shelters to allow them to get what they need specifically from area stores.
- The Salvation Army is collecting NEW, popular items for emergencies (pre-packaged snacks, water, juices, toiletries, baby items, blankets, towels, sleeping bags, socks, puzzles, stuffed animals etc.) at 700 Union Street. Hope Partnership appreciates those of you who donated items last week to help with some immediate needs.
- The Osceola County School District and the Education Foundation of Osceola County are working on helping students with specific needs (school uniforms, books, bookbags, school supplies), but more info will be available from the Emergency Management team soon. School resumes Tuesday, October 4, 2022.
- If you can activate a larger group of volunteers, please email email@example.com the following information:
- How many people do you have per shift/what times
- What kind of work your group can and can't do
- How much notice would be needed to get the group on-site locally
- The contact person and their direct information
- Opportunities for individuals to volunteer may be available via The Salvation Army at 700 Union Street to serve in the kitchen. Please contact Andrea Ruiz 646-860-8855. Shift sign-up in advance is encouraged versus walking up.
- Volunteers can also check www.VolunteerFlorida.org for opportunities throughout the state.
- If you can activate a larger group of volunteers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org the following information:
- Meals for individuals in need:
- If folks need a hot meal immediately, they can go to the Salvation Army at 700 Union Street. Meals are served starting at 11am and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Crisis Clean-up:
- Those needing clean-up assistance can go to www.CrisisCleanUp.org or call the hotline for Hurricane Ian at (800) 451-1954.
- If you're a company looking to volunteer to provide clean-up assistance (drywall, tree trimming, clearing etc.), please sign up at www.CrisisCleanUp.org to become a relief organization.
Before the Storm
Preparing in advance for hurricane season can determine not only how safely and comfortably you ride out the storm, but also how easily it is to handle the days and weeks after the storm has passed. Take a look at the information collected below to learn how you can prepare in the days and weeks before a hurricane.
No distribution locations are open at this time.
About Sand Bags
The use of sandbags is a simple, but effective way to prevent or reduce flood water damage. Properly filled and placed sandbags can act as a barrier to divert moving water around, instead of through, buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal, but is satisfactory for use in most situations.
Sandbags alone should not be relied on to keep water outside a building. Use baffle boards (plywood sheeting) or sheets of plastic tarp with sandbags. To form a sandbag wall, place bags tightly against one another to form the first layer of defense. Stagger the second and subsequent layers of bags, much like the pattern of bricks in a wall.
Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.
The most important part of your hurricane plan is a Hurricane Kit, that includes the basic life support you will need after a disaster. Prepare to be self sufficient for at least 3 days to two weeks.
What do I need?
- Food/Water *
- Bottled water ( 1 gallon per day per person) for 14 days*
- Manual can opener*
- Non-perishable foods:*
- Canned meat, fish, fruit and vegetables
- Bread in moisture proof packaging
- Cookies, candy, dried fruit
- Canned soups, & milk
- Powdered or single serve drinks
- Cereal bars
- Package condiments
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Instant coffee & tea
- Flashlight (1 per person) *
- Portable battery powered lanterns
- Glass enclosed candles
- Battery powered radio or TV
- Battery operated alarm clock
- Extra batteries, including hearing aids
- Ice chest and ice
- First Aid Kit-including aspirin, antibiotic cream, and antacids
- Mosquito repellent
- Sun screen (45 SPF recommended)
- Waterproof matches/butane lighter
- Plain bleach or water purification tablets
- Disposable plates, glasses, and Utensils
- Maps of the area with landmarks on it
- Cooking :
- Portable camp stove or grill
- Stove fuel or charcoal, lighter fluid
- Disposable eating utensils, plates & cups
- Napkins & paper towels
- Aluminum foil
- Oven mitts
- Personal Supplies:
- Prescriptions ( 1month supply)*
- Photo copies of prescriptions*
- Toilet paper
- Entertainment: books, magazines, card games etc*
- Soap and detergent
- Bedding: pillows, sleeping bag*
- Clothing for a few days*
- Rain ponchos, and work gloves
- Extra glasses or contact lenses
- Disposable diapers*
- Formula, food and medication*
- Photo copies of prescriptions
- Photo identification*
- Proof of occupancy of residence (utility bills)
- Medical history or information
- Waterproof container for document storage
- Back-up disks of your home computer files
- Camera & film
- Pet Supplies:
- Dry & canned food for two weeks
- Water (1/2 gallon per day)
- Litter box supplies
- Traveling Cage
- Other Necessities:
- Tools: hammer, wrenches, screw drivers, nails, saw
- Trash bags (lots of them)
- Cleaning supplies
- Plastic drop cloth
- Mosquito netting
- ABC rated fire extinguisher
- Masking or duct tape
- Outdoor extension cords
- Spray paint to identify your home if necessary
- One of your home phones (many people lost theirs during Andrew, even though their phone service still worked)
* If you are planning to evacuate be sure to at least take these items.
After the Storm
The weeks after a hurricane are often more complicated and dangerous than the storm itself. Below we have put together a list of information and resources designed to help you manage during the recovery period after a storm.
As a tropical storm or hurricane impacts the state, a large amount of rainfall is expected. It is important to be prepared for issues related to flooding. View flood evacuation routes and maps.
Moving Flood WaterDuring flooding, the greatest threat comes from moving water. The deeper the moving water, the greater the threat. People should avoid driving in moving water, regardless of the size of their vehicle.
Pooling Flood Water
Heavy rain causes flood waters to rise and pool on streets and throughout neighborhoods. In these situations, be aware of the following:
- Road surfaces become obscured, and drivers can unknowingly steer into a deep body of water, such as a canal or pond.
- Electricity from streetlights and power poles may be active through standing water, causing a deadly shock to anyone coming in contact with it.
- Children playing in contaminated standing water can become sick or be bitten by snakes or floating insects.
- People coming into contact with floodwaters should thoroughly rinse any exposed body parts with soap and sanitized or disinfected water.
Contaminated Water Supply
Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink. Listen to local announcements on safety of the water supply.
If your public water system lost pressure, a boil water notice will likely be issued for your area.
People in these areas should take precautions to avoid contaminated water, especially individuals with private wells. If your well is in a flooded area, your water may contain disease-causing organisms and may not be safe to drink.
DOH recommends one of the following:
- Boil water for at least one minute before using it for drinking, washing, cooking, etc.;
- Disinfect water by adding 8 drops about 1/8 tsp – this would form a puddle about the size of a dime of unscented household bleach per gallon of water, and then let it stand for 30 minutes. If the water is cloudy after 30 minutes, repeat the procedure. Use a container that has a cap or cover for disinfecting and storing water to be used for drinking as this will prevent contamination.
- Use only bottled water, especially for mixing baby formula.
After the flooding subsides:
- Disinfect your well using the procedures available from your local health department, or provided on the Department of Health Web site at http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/private-well-testing/index.html; and
- Have your water tested by your local health department or by a laboratory certified by the State to perform a drinking water analysis.
Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with floodwaters. Discard any food without a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with floodwaters. Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the labels thoroughly, wash the cans, and then disinfect them with a solution consisting of 1/4 cup of unscented household bleach per gallon of water for clean surfaces. Re-label your cans, including the expiration date, with a marker. Food containers with screw-caps, snap lids and home canned foods should be discarded if they have come in contact with floodwaters because they cannot be disinfected.
Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers. There is no way to safely clean them if they have come in contact with contaminated floodwaters. Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils with soap and hot water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1/4 cup of household bleach per gallon of water.
Basic hygiene is very important during natural disaster. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected and cooled. Hands should be washed before preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, after handling uncooked food, after playing with a pet, after handling garbage, after tending to someone who is sick or injured, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, after participating in flood cleanup activities, and after handling articles contaminated with flood water or sewage.
Food Safety: Preventing Food-Borne Diseases
- The Department of Health advises that individuals should not eat any food that may have come into contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal surges.
- Commercially prepared cans of food should not be eaten if there is a bulging or opening on the can or the screw caps, soda pop bottle tops or twist-caps.
- Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if you remove the labels and then disinfect the cans in a bleach solution. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water; re-label the cans including expiration date and type of food. Assume that home-canned food is unsafe.
- Infants should be fed only pre-mixed canned baby formula. Do not use powdered formulas prepared with treated water. Use boiled water when preparing formula.
- Frozen and refrigerated foods can be unsafe after a hurricane. When the power is out, refrigerators will keep foods cool for only about four hours. Thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out after four hours.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Preventing Waterborne Illness
- Basic hygiene is very important during this emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected before eating, after toilet use, after participating in cleanup activities and after handling articles contaminated by floodwater or sewage.
- Flooding that occurs after the hurricane may mean that water contains fecal matter from sewage systems, agricultural and industrial waste and septic tanks. If you have open cuts or sores exposed to the floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and disinfected or boiled water. Apply antibiotic ointment to reduce the risk of infection. If a wound or sore develops redness, swelling or drainage, see a physician.
- Do not allow children to play in floodwater. They can be exposed to water contaminated with fecal matter. Do not allow children to play with toys that have been in floodwater until the toys have been disinfected. Use ¼ cup of bleach in one gallon of water to disinfect toys and other items.
Power Outages: Preventing Fire Hazards
- Using battery-powered lanterns and flashlights is preferable to using candles.
- If you must use candles, make sure you put them in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood, or other flammable items.
Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illness: Clearing Standing Water
- Heavy rains and flooding can lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. Public health authorities will be working actively to control the spread of any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.
- To protect against mosquitoes, DOH urges the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include the “5 D’s” for prevention:
- Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
- DEET – When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide are recommended. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
- Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
Insect Repellent Use
- Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before applying a repellent to skin. Some repellants are not suitable for children.
- Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
- Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present.
- Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Elimination of breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention.
- Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
- Pump out bilges on boats.
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or blockages in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.