During a severe weather event, we’re safer and stronger together. June 1 marked the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season, and Orange County wants to ensure its residents and guests are prepared. There’s a lot to remember when it comes to hurricane preparedness, but making sure your trees are trimmed and healthy is critical. If maintained properly, healthy, mature trees can help shield your home during a storm. Keeping them professionally pruned will allow hurricane-force winds to pass through them, decreasing the chances they blow over. Unhealthy and damaged trees can cause major damage to your home during a hurricane due to flying debris, so it’s important to have your yard ready for severe weather.

Additionally, Orange County’s 311 help and information line is available to provide preparedness and recovery information before, during and after any tropical system that impacts our community. For Orange County residents, 311 is a convenient way to report local non-emergency incidents and connect with local government seven days a week. 311 provides access to government resources and ensures resident concerns are addressed via phone, online chat or smartphone app. Sandbag distribution and shelter information are the most frequent types of calls prior to a major storm. In the days following a hurricane, debris is the primary area of concern, and 311 can assist residents with reports of fallen power poles and trees, traffic light outages, debris drop-off sites and removal information.

Last month, residents learned how to prepare for hurricane season during Orange County’s annual Hurricane Expo. Hundreds of citizens learned how to best prepare for the season and received free storm supplies. To learn more about storm preparedness and recovery, visit
Two people stand in front of the Pulse memorial as they contemplate the artwork on display.

On the morning of June 12, 2016, many Central Floridians woke up to the news of the attack on Pulse Nightclub near downtown Orlando that led to the death of 49 people, as well as the countless individuals who were physically and emotionally injured.
Photo of the July Perry marker that reads "Lynching of July Perry, November 3, 1920"

On June 21, 2019, a historical marker in remembrance of one of the darkest days in Orange County was placed during a ceremony in Heritage Square outside of the Orange County Regional History Center. The marker honored July Perry, who was lynched during the Ocoee Massacre in November 1920.
Three people holding hard hats at a groundbreaking outside.

Affordable housing is a huge concern for local seniors – many of whom are on a fixed income. To meet that need, Emerald Villas recently broke ground on Phase II of its development, which will feature 96 units for low and very-low income seniors. Emerald Villas is one of Pine Hills newest multi-housing projects.
Mayor Demings and a child at a community garden. Commissioner Siplin and another woman smile in the background.

The restoration of the Pine Hills Community Garden was made possible by the joint funding efforts of the Sustainable Communities Grant and Pine Hills Safe Neighborhood Partnership of the Orange County Neighborhoods Service Division.
The Board of County Commissioners and other Orange County leaders standing for a photo

The  Orange County Farm Bureau  held its 2019 Elected Officials Luncheon at the Citrus Club on May 21, 2019. Every year, the Farm Bureau’s board of directors updates Orange County officials on the nursery industry, citrus harvesting, farm industry needs and agricultural issues.
Crosswalk on a street corner leading to a park

When tragedy struck in January 2018 at the intersection of Pershing Ave. and Redditt Road in Orlando, it was a reminder of the importance of traffic and pedestrian safety, but the subsequent action taken by Orange County Government is also a reminder of how local governments can listen to residents in order to make a difference.
Mayor Demings’ Housing for All subcommittees have been meeting frequently and the next Housing for All Task Force meeting will be held July 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Board Chambers, 201 S. Rosalind Avenue. In an effort to increase the diversity of housing products in Orange County, Planning Manager Alberto Vargas recently presented a work session to the Board of County Commissioners to explore amending Orange County’s code to allow accessory dwelling units.

Accessory dwelling units – also known as garage apartments, granny flats, in-law suites, etc. – are attached or detached residential units that share the same lot as the primary (and larger) residential unit. The Board agreed to pursue the steps to amend the code in order to help address the “missing middle” in the housing market. There are various issues that need to be addressed and a proposed timeline has the amended code coming before the Board later this summer for implementation in early 2020. This work session was a direct recommendation from the Accessibility & Opportunity subcommittee in the Housing for All Task Force. For more information, visit .
Free Movie in the Park Don't miss the classic 1954 film “ Creature from the Black Lagoon ” on Saturday, July 13 at 8:45 p.m. at Kelly Park’s Camp Joy, 5303 Baptist Camp Road. Bring chairs, blankets, bug spray and a picnic or purchase food and beverages from food trucks. For details, visit the Facebook event page or call 407-254-1902.

Learn about the Benefits of Smart Irrigation – July is Smart Irrigation Month, and Orange County Utilities is offering four free workshops throughout the County to educate residents about best irrigation practices. Visit Orange County’s newsroom for details. Pre-registration is required by emailing or calling 407-254-9850.

Properly Secure Your Car Seats – In the month of July, Orange County Fire Rescue is offering two free car seat inspections courtesy of a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Sessions will be held on Thursday, July 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Station 70 at 1027 E Wallace St and on Tuesday, July 16 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Station 30 on 20 S Hastings St . For more information, visit or call 407-836-8337.
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