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Tropical Storm Nate update #2
Thursday, Oct. 5, 4:45 p.m. - Santa Rosa County Emergency Management continues to monitor Tropical Storm Nate through the National Weather Service and State Emergency Operations Center. There are no local actions - no bridge closures, no evacuations, no school closures, no office closures - at this time. Please stay alert and monitor local media for the latest weather forecasts.

How bridge closures are determined:
Santa Rosa County works with law enforcement to close bridges for safety at sustained wind speeds (not gusts) typically of 39 mph or greater. 

How evacuation orders are determined: 
"We encourage you to  run from water and hide from wind. When National Weather Service issues a predicted storm surge for our area, we apply that to our storm surge decision matrix - based on our model data - and order evacuations by surge zone as necessary," said Emergency Management Director Brad Baker. "Hiding from the wind is a little different. If you have a newer home that you feel comfortable can withstand hurricane winds - and you don't live in a storm surge zone -  you can shelter in place during a storm. However, anyone who lives in a mobile home - or older home that may not be able handle sustained winds - should find a place to stay if evacuations are ordered. We always encourage people to stay with friends or family and evacuate in terms of tens of miles, not hundreds," he added. "Shelters are not the most comfortable places and should be considered a last resort option."

Santa Rosa County School District information:
Friday evening activities will continue as scheduled. A decision regarding Saturday evening events will be made by noon on Friday.  At present, school will be in session on Monday. Check with your local school for changes in scheduled events. Any change in the school schedule will be shared through the school district's social media sites, phone notification to parents and through local media.

Gulf Islands National Seashore:
Gulf Islands National Seashore will close tonight at 10 p.m. All campers must vacate by Friday at noon. All gates will be closed except for Highway 399 between Pensacola Beach and Navarre. 

Pre-Storm Information
  • Be safe! Follow all weather advisories.
    • Beachgoers, swimmers and surfers should heed red flag warnings and stay out of the water as deadly rip currents and rough surf conditions are expected.
  • Review, update or make a disaster plan. 
    • Check www.santarosa.fl.gov/KnowYourZone. If you live in a mobile home, or a surge evacuation zone, know where you will go and how you will get there. Shelters are a last-resort option. You will be much more comfortable with family, friends or a hotel. And don't go far - think in terms of tens of miles, not hundreds. 
    • Have pets? Download our pet-friendly shelter application and return to Animal Services. 
    • Special needs? Register online here.
    • Update your photo or video inventory of your home, vehicles and belongings and store online or on your mobile device.
  • Top off your supplies.
    • You should have three to five days' worth of nonperishable food, medications and at least one gallon of water for each person and pet per day. Remember, you can reuse clean, empty gallon jugs for water. Fill and freeze them to help keep your freezer cold (saves energy too!). 
    • Have a good stock of batteries and extra gas for your generator. Test your generator.
  • Check your yard.
    • Look around your house for dead trees or loose limbs which could cause damage in high winds.
  • Stay updated. Tracks can change quickly. Tune into local media regularly. 
Preparations taken by Santa Rosa County 
  • Santa Rosa County is making limited supplies of sand available at no cost at several locations. Sand bags are available at local home improvement stores for purchase (Hall's Hardware in Milton, Lowe's in Midway and Pace). Bring shovels to fill and load your own bags.
    • Leisure Street at Citrus Drive in Holley By the Sea
    • Tiger Point Park in Gulf Breeze
    • Pace Fire-Rescue in Pace
    • The corner of Pine Forest Road and Carroll Road in Milton
General information
  • More information is available in our latest all-hazards disaster guide online or at county offices and libraries, local chambers of commerce, and local retailers.
  • Your best defense in any disaster is a NOAA Weather radio.
  • Citizens may call (850) 983-INFO (4636) with questions.
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