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Orange County Office Of Emergency Management Sept. 13 Press Briefing

Public Health & Safety

Updates from Orange County’s Office of Emergency Management:

Permitting Fees Waived

Permit fees to repair damages caused by Hurricane Irma have been temporarily waived in Orange County. Whether you are hiring a licensed contractor or doing the repairs yourself, you need to have a permit and have certified inspectors inspect the work.  For additional Information, call 407-836-5550 or email Subpermits@ocfl.net.

Fence Repair

Orange County residents do not need a new zoning permit to repair fences damaged during Hurricane Irma. The previous permit is all that is needed.  If you have a fence that needs to be repaired due to hurricane activity, you do not need a new zoning permit before repairing the damaged fence. You may repair or replace portions of the fence under the existing or previous permit.

Debris

Orange County opened ten (10) citizen drop-off sites.  Residents of Orange County may bring vegetative (trees/yard waste) debris to one of the specified 10 locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Residents will need to provide proof of Orange County address to gain access. Debris drop-off sites can be found at www.ocfl.net/debris or by calling 3-1-1.

Orange County can only remove debris from homes in private gated communities if a representative of the community, the president of the association or the association’s management firm, contacts Orange County to arrange debris pickup by calling 3-1-1. Debris removal will begin during the week of Sept. 18 through 22. Debris will be removed from private property only in the case of severe damage, per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy. If the debris is an immediate threat to residents, State or local government may enter private property to remove debris to eliminate threats to life, public health and safety.

Licensed Contractors

Make sure to hire only licensed contractors for repair work. According to the Orange County Consumer Fraud Office, you should do the following when hiring a contractor:

  • Avoid door-to-door solicitors.
  • Insist on references, a proper license, bonding and insurance. Check out credentials.
  • Make sure the contract can be broken if you don’t receive financing. Hire a contractor with a real office, not just a post office box address.

For more information on the Orange County Consumer Fraud Office and protecting yourself from fraud call, 407-836-2490 or 311, or email fraudhelp@sao9.org.

Traffic Signals

Orange County Public Works reports 52 traffic light locations without power and five with flashing lights. Of the downed traffic lights, 16 are being powered by generators.  Of the total 576 lights that Orange County maintains and operates, 123 of them have some type of damage but it is not impacting or impeding the light’s operation.

Generator Use

Make sure to follow the proper generator-use precautions:

  • Follow the instructions that come with your generator. Never use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, basements and crawl spaces – even those with partial ventilation. Never run a generator in areas where people or animals are present. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home. Place the generator away from open windows.
  • Carbon monoxide fumes emitted by gasoline engines can be fatal, often without the victims – especially those who are sleeping – ever realizing the danger.  If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms inside your home to warn when carbon monoxide levels from any source pose a serious health risk.
  • Always connect the generator to appliances with heavy-duty extension cords.
  • Never store fuel for your generator in your house. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass safety containers. Do not store them near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.

Water Conservation

Orange County is asking residents to conserve water due to Hurricane Irma Recovery. The storm placed a considerable strain on Orange County’s pump stations. Please reduce how often you are flushing toilets and refrain from running washing machines and dishwashers. Please be mindful of taking long showers. We also ask that if you conserved water in a bathtub, do not drain that water yet. Visit www.ocfl.net/Irma for more information.

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