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West Orange Times & Observer Monday, Jun. 3, 2019 2 months ago

OCPS prepares for 2019 hurricane season

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Orange County Public Schools recently shared news on its current actions regarding preparation for this year's hurricane season.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

June marks the official start of hurricane season, and for many — including Orange County Public Schools — preparations are underway.

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1 and extends through Nov. 30. At the state level, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the 2019 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, and it runs through Thursday, June 6. Qualifying items related to disaster preparedness currently are exempt from sales tax, including batteries, weather radios and certain generators. For a full list of qualifying items, click here.

In addition to statewide preparations, local government, businesses and school districts also are assessing and acting on their emergency-management plans. OCPS said in an email that it is prepared for the start of the 2019 hurricane season and takes steps to ensure readiness of school facilities, staff, students and families. 

According to OCPS, the district is already acting on these steps in anticipation of hurricane season:

  • Sending out information about the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday to parents in a Connect Orange message on May 29 and to employees via email, as well as reminding the public through social media and website.
  • District staff participated in the Governor’s Hurricane Conference to learn about hurricane season forecasts and the state’s overall readiness.
  • OCPS Safety and Emergency Management staff participated in the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Statewide Hurricane Exercise.
  • Distributed hurricane-readiness resources in the lobby of the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center.
  • Orange County's Office of Emergency Management hosted the annual Orange County Hurricane Expo at Cypress Creek High School.
  • School administrators will attend district-provided training on emergency-evacuation shelter operations this month and next.
  • OCPS SEM staff has met with representatives from OEM to discuss hurricane-season preparedness and emergency-evacuation shelter readiness.

OCPS also has released the 2019-20 school calendar, which includes the prioritized bad-weather days. 

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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