Emergency Management

What is a Hurricane?

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones – storms that rotate counterclockwise with wind speeds in excess of 74 mph. On average, six Atlantic hurricanes develop each year. When a hurricane moves toward populated areas, it often causes severe damage. As the hurricane moves forward, its right front quadrant is typically where the most devastation occurs.

Hurricane season begins in the early summer and last through late fall – June through November. It is important for you to know what to do in case of an emergency. Your personal action plan details who does what, where you go and what you take along. Practice drills, like the departments of the Town of Windermere does in conjunction with Orange County Emergency Management, will help prepare you in the event you need to implement your plan.

Hopefully, you are as ready as one can be for any incident. If not, the following is to assist you, and provide some guidance that may help you be prepared. Even though this is focused toward hurricanes, these brief guidelines work for any incident – afternoon storms, power outages, natural and man-made disasters. These disaster preparedness kits should be prepared well before hurricane season begins, kept throughout the year and checked annually.


Links and Phone Numbers


Non-Emergency (24/7)

Windermere PD Non-Emergency (M-F, 8-5)

Orange County Sheriff’s Office

Florida Fish & Wildlife

Orange County Hotline

Orange County Utilities

Duke Energy (report an outage, downed line, etc.)

Lake Apopka Natural Gas

FEMA Region 4 General Line

FEMA Region 4 News Desk

Local Red Cross

Track the storm








Call 1-800-228-8485, text OUT to  57801, or Click here

407-656-2734 or click here




Click here


Duke Energy will be the contact for all power-related needs.


Report an outage. Please refer to Duke Energy for any and all questions related to restoration. Town staff does not have information on individual restoration.


Apply for FEMA Assistance

Apply for FEMA Assistance after Hurricane Ian

Homeowners and renters in Orange County who were affected by Hurricane Ian can apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

Apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov, call 800-621-3362 between 7am – 11pm Eastern, or use the FEMA mobile app. Those who use a relay service, such as a video relay service or a captioned telephone service, should provide that number to FEMA.

When applying for assistance, please have the following items ready:

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted
  • Your social security number
  • A general list of damages and losses
  • Banking info if you choose direct deposit
  • If insured, the policy number, the agent’s name, and/or the company name

Survivors may be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured or underinsured damage and losses resulting from Ian, If you have homeowners, renters, or flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits or losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your disaster expenses, you may be eligible for Federal assistance.

Take photos to document damage. Begin cleanup and repairs to prevent additional damage. Keep all receipts from purchases related to cleanup and repair.

Disaster assistance may include financial help with temporary lodging and home repairs, as well as other disaster-related expenses.

For an accessible video on how to apply for assistance, visit: youtube.com/watch?v=WZGpWI2RCNw

For information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Ian, visit fema.gov/disaster/hurricane-ian

Hurricane Preparation

AT HOME EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT (minimum suggestions)


  • Two Flashlights.
  • A battery-operated radio.
  • Six extra sets of batteries.
  • Gel freezer packs to keep food cold.
  • A cooler.
  • Matches and a lighter.
  • A camping stove and/or grill.
  • A tarp, towels, can opener, large plastic trash bags.
  • Drinking water in plastic containers – a minimum one gallon of water per person per day for 14 days.
  • Non-perishable food in cans or sealed containers enough for 14 days. Don’t forget the pets!
  • A cell phone, if possible

EVACUATION KIT (minimum suggestions)


  • A map and a compass.
  • Sleeping bags and/or blankets for each member of the family.
  • A can of tire sealer.
  • Air or foam mattresses.
  • Identification for everyone.
  • Important documents.
  • Extra clothes, shoes, etc.
  • Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, paper towels, etc.
  • Books, games, playing cards, etc.
  • Food and water from at home supplies.


All family members with Special Needs should register with the Orange County Special Needs Registry

Before the Storm



  • Fill your bathtub(s) and sinks with water. To keep from leaking, cover the drain with a clean sheet of plastic before filling
  • Fill clean plastic or glass containers with water. Store the bottled water in a cool, dark area.
  • Remove any loose lawn furniture or other items in your yard that could take flight in the winds.
  • Make sure your vehicle is full of gas and withdraw money.



  • Check all cleats, ropes, chocks and winches for strength.  Double the rigging lines fore and aft.
  • Ensure lines are high enough on pilings to allow for extreme ebb and flow of rising waters.
  • Tie old tires around the boat to protect it from being pushed into other docked boats, piers, pilings, etc.
  • Loose items should be removed or secured inside the boat.

During the Storm



If you do not live within the “evacuation area,” and you decide to stay, do not leave your home. Use this checklist as you prepare to stay home during the storm.


  • Secure all windows and doors.
  • Keep updated on the storm’s status by listening to advisory reports on the radio or TV.
  • Remove all loose items from your yard.
  • Keep flashlights handy.
  • Have your Emergency Supply Kits near.
  • For protection in extremely high winds, stay away from windows or any glass-covered openings during the storm. Go to the lowest floor of your home. Find a room that is structurally reinforced – a bathroom or closet – and wait until the storm passes.
  • Do not use your computer or electrical devices during the storm.
  • Do not leave your house until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so.



DON’T PANIC! An orderly, but immediate evacuation will help ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.


  • Take your At-Home and Evacuation Kits
  • Turn off water, gas and electricity
  • Lock all windows and doors
  • Call friends and relatives to inform them of your destination. When you arrive, call again to let them know you are safe
  • If you have pets, make sure your destination is pet friendly

After the Storm

Once the ALL CLEAR has been given by Emergency Management:


  • CALL 911 if you or someone in your household is injured and/or a life-threatening emergency exists
  • Call the Non-Emergency number 407-905-6333 if you want to notify the Town of a possible safety concern, i.e., tree down/washed out road, vandalism, or other safety sensitive concern
  • Before the public all clear is given, and the sustained winds are below 35 mph, Town staff has begun assessing the damage, clearing roads for emergency medical personal and conducting safety checks
  • Take account of your immediate safety and the interior of your home. If you are safe to stay indoors, do so. Going outside may place you or your loved ones in danger. If possible, call a friend or family member outside of your area to let them know you are okay. Keep listening to radio and news reports of the situation
  • Once you feel it’s safe to go outdoors, take account of your personal property: home, vehicles, etc. Take photos of any damage to your property. Use caution, the dangers still exist even though the storm has passed
  • Only hire licensed contractors/certified arborist for any repair work that may be needed
  • Do Not venture beyond your property until crews have completed any and all work in the area


First Responders (Public Works, EMS, Law Enforcement) – were activated before the approach of the storm. Please allow them the time and space to aid in the immediate life threatening responses, then time to clean and clear the roadways. DO NOT go in or around down trees, power lines, or unless a personal emergency exist, please stay off the roads.