As Hurricane Dorian moves across the Atlantic Ocean toward Florida, Sarasota County officials have declared a state of emergency, warning that the storm could damage "roads, homes, bridges, public facilities and businesses" and "poses an immediate and present danger to the health and safety of the citizens of Sarasota County." Here are some resources to help you stay safe:
- As of the morning of Saturday, Aug. 31, no evacuations have been announced. The county is, however, recommending that residents use the time between now and when Dorian makes landfall to "store any loose furniture and prepare your home for potential high winds." Find tips on how to secure your home here.
- Sandbags are being distributed Saturday and Sunday at multiple locations around the county. (Click here for a list of sandbag distribution points. Note that you can only bring home 10 bags per household.)
- Many government offices have been closed in anticipation of the storm, including public libraries.
- The Sarasota County Area Transit bus system is using a modified service schedule over the holiday weekend. (Click here for more information when it becomes available.)
- In case an evacuation is ordered, it is important to know your "evacuation level." Click here to view an interactive map on which you can search for your address to "know your level."
- Emergency shelters have not been opened, but you can locate the one nearest to you on this interactive map.
- Sarasota County schools are closed for Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 2, but no additional closures have yet been announced. You can find the latest information from the school district on Twitter or Facebook.
- For the latest information about local conditions, find info from Sarasota County Emergency Services on Facebook or Twitter.
- You can find the latest information about Hurricane Dorian as it approaches Florida at the National Hurricane Center website here.
Be smart. Stay safe.