With Hurricane Ian ready to impact Orange County and all of Florida, local preparations have been under way around Orlando ahead of the storm and important information is available. The theme parks are shuttered, Orlando International Airport is closed, and Central Florida is in a weather lockdown.
All of the Orange County Hurricane Ian shelter locations are now open. The following shelters in Orange County are open for residents needing to evacuate or seek shelter from Hurricane Ian (ID cards are not required to enter shelters):
- Apopka High School (pet friendly)
555 Martin St. Apopka 32712
- Dr. Phillips High School
6500 Turkey Lake Rd. Orlando 32819
- Ocoee High School
1925 Ocoee Crown Point Pkwy. Ocoee 34761
- Timber Creek High School (pet friendly)
1001 Avalon Park Blvd. Orlando 32828
- Memorial Middle School
2220 29th St. Orlando 32805
- Southwest Middle School
6450 Dr. Phillips Blvd. Orlando 32819
- Timber Springs Middle School
16001 Timber Park Ln. Orlando 32818
- Oak Ridge High School (pet friendly) – no longer taking new evacuees
6000 Winegard Rd. Orlando 32809
Orange County Fire Recue is again visiting mobile/manufactured home communities, as well as neighborhoods in low-lying areas with historic issues of flooding, to urge residents to evacuate. Public safety partners, in conjunction with LYNX, will assist these residents in evacuation. Residents in these areas are requested to evacuate due to expected flooding rains and hurricane-force winds. Those with homes in unsafe areas should consider staying with a friend, family member, or plan an evacuation route to an emergency shelter. Residents should relocate no later than 2pm today.
Losing power because of a hurricane can be a huge inconvenience and safety hazard. When possible, report outages to your electric provider in Orange County. OUC is also continuing to prepare for the storm’s potential impacts to our service area, and they are telling the community they are ready to respond. OUC is urging customers to prepare now in the following ways:
- Update your contact information. Customers should log in to their my.OUC.com account to make sure contact information is current.
- Sign up for outage alerts. OUC’s outage alerts make sure customers have power restoration updates at their fingertips via text message. Customers can do so by texting REG to 69682 or visiting OUC.com/alerts. Alerts are available in English and Spanish.
- Follow important safety tips for before, during and after a storm.
The City of Orlando has also made parking garages are open to the public at no charge: Central Boulevard Garage, 53 West Central Boulevard; Jefferson Street Garage, 62 West Jefferson Street; Library Garage, 112 East Central Boulevard; Orange County Administration Garage, 300 Liberty Avenue. This is for any resident who would like to park a car in a covered garage. The city said this is for cars only, and Orange County Admin, Central and Jefferson have 7′ clearance. Library garage is 6’10”. All cars should be removed by 8pm Friday, September 30th, dependent on weather and road conditions.
Following Hurricane Ian, depending on weather and road conditions, the City of Orlando will work to pick up missed garbage, yard and recycling collections starting on Saturday. October 1st.
Orlando Representative Val Demings called on congressional leaders to hold a vote to pass the Federal Disaster Housing Stability Act, legislation that she introduced to protect Floridians from foreclosures and evictions during and after natural disasters like the impending Hurricane Ian. This bill would provide stability for renters and homeowners during future federally declared natural disasters by implementing an eviction moratorium for all rental properties and a foreclosure moratorium on all federally backed mortgages during a federally declared disaster.
“Congress needs to pass my legislation to save Florida families from evictions and foreclosures during and after natural disasters like Hurricane Ian,” said Rep. Demings. “We can’t let Florida families lose their homes due to emergencies outside of their control. As the daughter of a maid and a janitor I saw how hard my parents worked for their home and their property. We must defend hardworking Florida families.”
The moratoriums would be targeted, applying to just those jurisdictions covered by the federal disaster declaration. The moratorium would cover six months for homeowners. For renters, the moratorium would cover at least 90 days from the disaster declaration, after a landlord receives federal disaster assistance, or the expiration of federal disaster assistance eligibility for landlords.
“Representative Demings’ bill, the Federal Disaster Housing Stability Act, will trigger immediate action to prevent evictions in any future local, state, or national emergencies; preventing millions of homes lost, excessive homelessness following a crisis, and significant economic devastation to the housing market,” said Shamus Roller, Executive Director for the National Housing Law Project.
Homeless people in Central Florida are most vulnerable to the impact of a major hurricane. The Homeless Services Network is working with the local homeless shelters in our area who will add service beyond their typical capacity to serve homeless individuals who are seeking refuge during Hurricane Ian.