Live Chat   Canceled / Postponed Events
Osceola Sectional Hero
Emergency Management - Main Office
M - F: 8am - 5pm
(407) 742-9000
2586 Partin Settlement Road
Kissimmee, FL 34744


Closest Point of Approach (CPA)

Point where hurricane eye makes closest contact to shore without actually making landfall.

Coastal Flood Warning

A warning that significant wind-forced flooding is expected along low-lying coastal areas if weather patterns develop as forecast.

Coastal Flood Watch

An alert that significant wind-forced flooding is expected along low-lying coastal areas if weather patterns develop as forecast.

Emergency Broadcast System

A system designed to permit government officials to issue up-to-date and continuous emergency information and instructions to the public in case of an emergency.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

The county facility that serves as a central location for the coordination and control of all emergency preparedness and response activities.

Emergency Public Information

Information disseminated to the public at the time of an emergency with frequent updates following.

Emergency Public Shelter

A public school or other such structure designated by county officials as a safe place of refuge.

Evacuation Time

The amount of time necessary between the issuance of a mandatory evacuation and the arrival of sustained gale force winds (40 mph) and/or flooding.

Flood Warning

The expected severity of flooding, where and when the flooding will begin.

Forward Speed

The rate of movement of the hurricane eye in miles per hour.

Gale Warning

Sustained winds within the range of 39-54 miles an hour.


This term is used when winds reach constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more. These winds blow in a large spiral around a relatively calm center of extremely low pressure known as the eye of the hurricane. Around the rim of the eye, winds may gust to more than 200 miles per hour.

Hurricane Advisories

Advisories are issued at six-hour intervals at midnight, 6:00 a.m., noon and 6:00 p.m. Easter Daylight Time.

Hurricane Eye

The relatively calm area near the center of the storm.

Hurricane Eye Landfall

The point in time when the eye reaches the coastline from the hurricane’s approach over water.

Hurricane Path

The line of movement of the eye through an area.

Hurricane Season

The portion of the year having a high incidence of hurricanes. In the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, it is June 1 through November 30.

Hurricane Warning

An alert added to a hurricane advisory when hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours.

Hurricane Watch

An alert added to a hurricane advisory covering a specified area and duration. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are a real possibility. When a hurricane watch is issued, everyone in the area covered by the watch should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act quickly if hurricane warnings are issued.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Probabilities

The National Weather Service issues hurricane / tropical storm probabilities in public advisories to assess the threat of a hurricane or tropical storm hitting your community.

Public Information Officer (PIO)

An individual appointed by the County Manager to be responsible for formulating and coordinating the dissemination of emergency public information ensuring that accurate information is being released to the general public.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

From the National Hurricane Center:

Tropical Storm -  Winds 39-73 mph

Category 1 Hurricane — winds 74-95 mph 64-82 kt
No real damage to buildings. Damage to unanchored mobile homes. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal flooding and minor pier damage.

Category 2 Hurricane — winds 96-110 mph 83-95 kt
Some damage to building roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to mobile homes. Flooding damages piers and small craft in unprotected moorings may break their moorings. Some trees blown down. 

Category 3 Hurricane — winds 111-130 mph 96-113 kt
Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly built signs destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland. 

Category 4 Hurricane — winds 131-155 mph 114-135 kt
More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland. 

Category 5 Hurricane — winds 156 mph and up 135+ kt
Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all structures near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required.

Shelter Period

The interval of time from evacuation until people are allowed to leave designated public shelters. The time may vary from several hours to several days depending on the severity of hurricane damage.


A sudden increase of wind speed by at least 18 miles per hour and rising to 25 miles per hour or more and lasting for at least one minute.

Storm Surge

The high, forceful wind-driven waters sweeping along the coastline near the place the eye makes landfall or passes close to the shoreline.