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Tavares, Florida 32778


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Lake County EOC prepares for potential severe weather

RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2007

TAVARES - The Lake County Emergency Operations Center is actively preparing for potential severe weather this afternoon in the areas that were devastated by two tornadoes on Feb. 2. 

Residents who are camping in these areas, or who are not residing in a structurally-sound building, are encouraged to find alternative sheltering at a home of a friend or family for the remainder of the evening. For anyone who cannot find alternative sheltering, they are encouraged to call the Lake County Citizens Information Line at (352) 343-9732 for information regarding short-term sheltering provided by the American Red Cross. In the Lake Mack area, residents can seek shelter at Camp La-No-Che, located at 41940 Boy Scout Road in Paisley. A bus service runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last pick up at 4:30 p.m.) to provide residents transportation to the camp from the Lake Mack Disaster Recovery Center, located at 31039 Lake Mack Road. 

In response to the potentially severe weather this afternoon, the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, is mobilizing an emergency vehicle to the Lake Mack and Lady Lake communities to broadcast over a public address system the threat of potential severe weather this afternoon. The following is a “hazardous weather outlook” posted to www.weather.gov by the National Weather Service Melbourne Office:

“LOW PRESSURE IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP OVER THE SOUTHEAST GULF OF MEXICO TODAY AND LIFT A WARM FRONT NORTHWARD INTO SOUTH FLORIDA...POSSIBLY REACHING CENTRAL FLORIDA TONIGHT. THE LOW WILL MOVE NORTHEAST ALONG THIS FRONTAL BOUNDARY CROSSING PORTIONS OF SOUTH OR CENTRAL FLORIDA TONIGHT. LOW LEVEL SHEAR IN THE VICINITY OF THIS BOUNDARY COMBINED WITH INCREASING LOW LEVEL MOISTURE WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE ISOLATED STRONG ROTATING STORMS...CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG WIND GUSTS AND POSSIBLY A TORNADO.

STAY TUNED TO LATER STATEMENTS AND FORECAST DISCUSSIONS TODAY ON THIS DEVELOPING STORM. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO SET YOUR NOAA WEATHER RADIO TO ALERT BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP IN CASE WARNINGS ARE ISSUED FOR YOUR AREA TONIGHT."

A NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is an essential tool to protecting you and your family from severe weather. The system is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from the nearby National Weather Service office. The system broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day. 

Working with the Federal Communication Commission, NWR is an "all hazards" radio network, making it a single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with federal, state and local emergency managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards – including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts). 

A NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitter broadcasts on one of seven VHF frequencies. The broadcasts cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio receiver. However, there are many receiver options, ranging from handheld portable units which just pick up a Weather Radio - to desktop and console models which receive Weather Radio in addition to other broadcasts. Prices can vary from $20 to $200, depending on the model. Many receivers have an alarm feature, but some may not. Among the more useful features in a receiver are:

  • Tone alarm: The National Weather Service will send a 1050 Hz tone alarm before most warning and many watch messages are broadcast. The tone will activate all the receivers which are equipped to receive it, even if the audio is turned off. This is especially useful for warnings which occur during the night when most people are asleep.

  • SAME technology: SAME, or Specific Alert Message Encoding allows you to specify the particular area for which you wish to receive alerts. Most warnings and watches broadcast over NOAA Weather Radio are county- or independent city-based (parish-based in Louisiana), although in a few areas of the country the alerts are issued for portions of counties. Since most NWR transmitters are broadcasting for a number of counties, SAME receivers will respond only to alerts issued for the area (or areas) you have selected. This minimizes the number of “false alarms” for events which might be a few counties away from where you live.

  • Selectable alerting of events: While SAME allows you to specify a particular area of interest, some receivers allow you to turn off the alarm for certain events which might not be important to you. For example, if you live in a coastal county, but not right at the beach, you might not care about Coastal Flood Warnings.

  • Battery backup: Since power outages often occur during storms, having a receiver with battery backup can be crucial. However, unless you have a portable unit which you will use away from other power sources, an AC power connection is recommended.

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Lake County media contact:
Communications Department
Public Information Coordinator
Office: 352-343-9603; Cell: 352-455-0445
klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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