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Disaster Preparedness for FWC Employees

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Disaster Preparedness for FWC Employees

Contact FWC Staff at Emergency Operations Center

Telephone: 850-921-0234; 850-921-0178

Email: See "Emergency Operations Center" in the Outlook Global Address List.


If your office is being closed, follow the steps in this checklist before leaving. Supplies (plastic sheeting, plastic bags, tape, etc.) are available from your supervisor.

If an employee is unable to comply, the office manager must ensure the space is secured.

  • Critical work items such as working papers, critical documents, etc. should be placed in plastic bags and moved from exterior offices to interior offices. Critical documents on the computer should be saved to a disc or to the network drive.
  • Contents of bookcases in exterior offices should either be bagged and moved into interior offices or covered with plastic sheets and sealed.
  • File cabinets should be covered with plastic sheets and sealed.
  • All desktop electrical equipment must be unplugged, bagged and moved to interior offices.
  • Window blinds should be lowered and closed.
  • All items should be moved away from windows.
  • Once you have secured your work area, notify your supervisor or other appropriate person before leaving the office.
  • If circumstances require physical removal of agency public records, you must notify the lead administrative assistant in your DOI and the FWC Records Management Liaison Officer (RMLO) at 850-488-6553 or email at Notification information should include: record series title, inclusive dates, and volume (number of boxes), removal location, new location, person responsible for transport and delivery.
  • If you have stored personal papers and family mementos in your office, you may want to remove them; the agency cannot be responsible for personal effects.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring the necessary supplies for your employees are kept on site. Office managers must also plan for and ensure all outside items have been removed or secured, as appropriate.

Before You Return

In most cases, the local news media will provide updates concerning office closures. If state offices are reported closed, you should not attempt to return to the office. Once offices are reported open, contact a chain-of-command supervisor to determine if the FWC office, due to damage, is still closed. The FWC website will be updated to report the office closure status, if possible.

If you discover records have been damaged, it is important to evaluate them as soon as possible to avoid losing wet records. Contact the RMLO immediately at the above numbers and email for instructions.


(excerpted from FWC Disaster Preparedness Plan)

Due to safety concerns that are inherent to hurricanes and other disasters, the following procedures for closing and reopening FWC-managed areas are recommended. These areas include wildlife management areas (WMAs), wildlife and environmental areas (WEAs), small game hunting areas, fish management areas (FMAs), public use areas, etc.

Closing FWC-managed Areas

  • Regional Leadership Teams (RLT) will evaluate all FWC-managed areas in their respective regions to determine if proactive closures are warranted for each parcel when a hurricane or other natural disaster is threatening.  Evaluations should include the following issues: public safety, employee safety (do we have manned check stations, etc.), access, and security of property and equipment.
  • RLTs will make evaluations before each hurricane season and develop a "Proactive Closure List" for their region. This list could include areas that will limit vehicular access rather than total closure, e.g. allow walk-in access.
  • FWC will proactively close areas where we are the lead managing agency.
  • Cooperating area managers will be encouraged to follow our protocol for areas on the "Proactive Closure List;" however, we will assist these agencies with their closing and reopening decisions.
  • FWC will post closed areas with signs when possible.
  • Closure will occur approximately 48 hours from the estimated impact of hurricane-force winds and projected path of the storm.
  • Special circumstances may require closure of areas not in line with the above standard. Examples are for fire, mandatory evacuations and flood. In addition, managed areas may be closed after a severe storm event because of post-event circumstances, e.g. safety hazards, downed trees, downed power lines, resource concerns, etc.
  • Official closures will occur at 1 a.m. unless an immediate closure is necessary.
  • RLT or RD will send the Internal Communications Director (Community Relations Office) (or designee) the closing notice to post on our website by close of business the day prior to the closing unless an immediate closure is necessary. This notice will be copied to the regional email group and to the _Emergency email group.
  • The following RLT members will meet prior to approaching storms to ensure regional coordination: RD, HSC, HGM, LE and appropriate public information coordinator (PIC). Other RLT members will be encouraged to attend if possible.

Reopening FWC-managed Areas

  • The following RLT members will meet post-disaster to ensure coordination of assessment or recovery efforts: RD, HSC, HGM, LE and PIC. Other RLT members will be encouraged to attend if possible.
  • Opening will occur after the FWC-managed area is assessed. Assessments will include access and safety-related issues, flooding, road conditions, wildlife impacts and other items as appropriate. Please note that managed areas may be partially opened, opened without vehicle access, opened with specified road closures, etc.
  • FWC's priority is to assess areas where we are the lead agency and encourage cooperating agencies to assess their areas and advise. As time allows, FWC personnel can assist cooperating agencies with their assessments.
  • If an FWC-managed area is not affected, but closed because of evacuation orders, it will reopen as soon as FWC personnel are in place and the opening announced.
  • Official openings will occur at 1 a.m.
  • RLT or RD will send the notice of opening to the Internal Communications Director (or designee) for posting on our website by noon the day prior to the reopening. Exceptions are possible for offices that regain phone or electric service later in the day. This notice will be copied to the regional email group and to the _Emergency email group.

Open/Closed Status of FWC-managed Areas

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