Hurricane Preparedness

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.


Executive Orders

Governor DeSantis EO-22-253

Links and Phone Numbers

Emergency . 911
Non-Emergency (24/7) 407-905-6333
Windermere PD Non-Emergency (M-F, 8-5) 407-876-3757
Track the storm Click here
Orange County Hotline 311
FEMA Region 4 General 770-220-5200
FEMA Region 4 Newsdesk 770-220-5292
Lake Apopka Natural Gas 407-656-2734 or click here
Local Red Cross 407-894-4141
Orange County Utilities 407-836-5515
Duke (report an outage, downed line, etc.) Call 1-800-228-8485, text OUT to  57801, or Click here



Closures / Cancellations

In anticipation of Tropical Storm Nicole, Town Administrative Offices will close at 3pm on Wednesday, November 9, and will remain closed all day on Thursday, November 10, 2022. TBD when offices will reopen.

Please call 911 for emergencies. For non-emergencies requiring law enforcement presence, please dial the 24-hour non emergency number 407-905-6333.

Consider downloading the Town’s mobile app for real-time alerts.

Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the 11/11 ASL Level 1 & 2 classes have been cancelled.


TBD if this class will be rescheduled for 11/18, or if classes will simply just resume in 2023.

Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, the Windermere Farmers Market has been cancelled for Friday, November 11.
Due to Tropical Storm Nicole, all Town parks, boat ramps, and tennis courts will close at 3pm on Wednesday, November 9 and will remain closed until further notice.


Windermere Recreation Center will remain closed while it serves as a debris collection site. This is the only state-certified site for debris collection in Windermere.


The Town will follow Orange County’s lead regarding reopening of boat ramps. Ramps will remain closed while the County assesses lake levels, the potential for contamination, displaced/disoriented wildlife, and submerged structures. Want to know the status of the lakes? Contact Orange County directly by calling 311 or emailing



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

Report an outage

As of 12:30pm on Thursday, November 10, Duke Energy’s assessment team is on-site with Town staff to review damage and formulate a restoration plan. Once the assessment has been completed, repair crews will be dispatched to begin the restoration process.

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


From WPD

Stay Inside!

Per WPD, Town residents are advised to remain indoors throughout the duration of Tropical Storm Nicole on Thursday, November 10. Residents should remain inside after the storm has passed until the all-clear has been given.

Winds, rain, and downed trees are not the only hazards during a hurricane. Downed power lines, broken glass, gas leaks, and unstable road surfaces pose a danger. Venturing out onto the roads via foot, vehicle, or golf cart prior to being told it is safe to do so also hinders Town Staff and their contractors who are working diligently to clear blocked roads, repair washed out roads, and restore power.

Garbage Collection

Town staff are pleased to report that minimal debris fell during Tropical Storm Nicole. As such, no debris haulers have been contracted at this time.


Waste Pro will haul bagged, bundled, or contained yard debris on the regularly-scheduled yard waste pick up days (Wednesdays).


Improperly secured debris will not be collected. Please reach out to Waste Pro directly with any questions on how to secure yard waste, or to report a missed pickup – 407-774-0800 – or use our portal.


Please continue to exercise no wakes through the Butler Chain as lake levels are still extremely elevated in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.


Report unsafe behavior to Orange County Sheriff’s Office (407-254-7000) and/or Florida Fish & Wildlife (888-404-3922). WPD does not have jurisdiction on the water.

Public Works

Public Works is aware of the following downed trees across the road:

  • E 6th Ave & Bessie St
  • W 8th Ave & Forest St
  • E 12th Ave
  • Wonder Ln

As well as the following washouts:

  • W 2nd Ave & Pine St
  • W 3rd Ave & Forest St
  • W 4th Ave & Butler
  • E 8th Ave & Bessie St
  • E 9th Ave
  • E 12th Ave


Please exercise extreme caution in these areas and avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Public Works and Town contractors will be working on clearing and repairing these areas as soon as possible. Please remember to be patient as we have a very small 6-man Public Works crew. They are working as fast and hard as they can to get things back to normal. Thank you Tonya, John, Travis, Brian, Caleb, and Rick!

Information for Contractors, Subcontractos, and Others

Property owners that need to repair or replace their dock due to Subtrobical Storm Nicole should contact Wade Trim or PDCS to determine if a permit is needed from the Town.

Wade Trim:
Main or  813-882-4372
Town Planner, Brad or 813-415-4952

PDCS: or 407-277-9795

As always, it is important for Town residents to be sure that anyone they hire to repair their docks, or other structures, are properly licensed contractors for the work.  They may contact PDCS to check on the status of a contractor. Also, to reiterate the information on the Town’s website:

  • Use only licensed contractors;
  • Beware of individuals who approach you and ask for money before a job is completed;
  • Once money has been exchanged, this becomes a civil contract;
  • Windermere requires all companies to obtain a solicitation permit from WPD BEFORE they can knock on doors; and
  • Contact the Windermere Police Department if you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam or would like to report suspicious behavior 407-876-3757.
What this means for you:
Who: Contractors, Sub-Contractors and Others in Database of Permitting


What: Town of Windermere, Hurricane Preparedness Advisory


When: Prior, during and after a National Weather Service or National Hurricane Center Notice of a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning


Why: To protect citizens and property during an inclement weather hazard


Details: All construction materials within the Town must be secured, stored, or removed so as not to create a safety hazard because of hurricane or tropical storm force winds, or similar inclement weather.

  • Follow all directives provided by the Town Building Official, Town Police Department, County Emergency Management, or other Town, County, State, or Federal Officials.
  • All contractors should implement their hurricane job site mitigation plan during this time.
  • Secure all equipment that cannot be removed from the site.
  • Interiors of structures under construction should be secured to prevent materials from becoming airborne.
  • All trash or debris on a construction site must be removed from site or be stored in properly secured and anchored containers.
  • All hazardous and or reactive material should be identified, with provisions to safely store, neutralize or relocate the materials to a safe location.
  • Piles of dirt, sand, and stone on a construction site should be located away from the lakes, canals, right of ways, adjoining properties, swales, culverts, and inlet grates.
  • Locate and turn off all utilities (electricity, water, and gas) provided to the site.
  • Assure that all required silt fencing and other erosion control measures are properly in place and secured.
  • Do not drive through flooded roads or other areas.
Your cooperation in protecting the safety of the residents of the Town of Windermere is critical.


Stay safe,

Brad Cornelius, AICP, CPM, CFM
Contracted Town Planner

Sandbag Locations

The Town of Windermere is not providing sandbags. However, Orange County is.

Beginning 11/7 Orange County Public Works is offering self-serve sandbag distribution stations from 8am – 8pm. These stations are located at:

  • Downey Park – 10107 Flowers Ave, Orlando, FL 32825

More locations TBA

People will need to show a valid ID with an Orange County address to get their bags. Residents will need to bring their own shovels and fill their bags.

For individuals needing special assistance or accommodations, please use the Orange County hotline, 311. Detailed information will be provided on how to obtain sandbags.


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, 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:

For information on Florida’s recovery from Hurricane Ian, visit

Hurricane Preparation

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