Orange County Distributing Free Sandbags to Get Residents Storm Ready
NOTE: Distribution has been extended to August 1, 2020.
In an effort to prepare for the peak of hurricane season, Orange County Government is hosting a free self-serve sandbag program for residents at five Orange County Park locations starting July 16 through August 1, 2020. The program is free and open to all County residents. Detailed information is available at www.ocfl.net/storm.
Each household will also receive a packet of free face masks and hand sanitizer along with the sandbags.
Individuals who visit the park locations for the sandbag program are required to wear a facial covering consistent with CDC guidelines and the County’s Executive Order. Residents need to bring their own shovel or filling tool.
“Orange County is providing sandbags so our communities can prepare today for a safer tomorrow,” said, Division Chief Lauraleigh Avery, Orange County Emergency Manager, Fire Rescue Department
Supplies will be provided including bags and sand. A “how-to” instructional sheet will be handed out with information on how to fill, store and dispose of sandbags. Residents will need to show proof of residency, such as a driver’s license, and are typically allowed 10 sandbags per household. Supplies are limited, and sandbags will be available for filling on a first-come, first-served basis.
One of the most effective tools for reducing water intrusion in your home during a hurricane, sandbags will not stop water from entering your home entirely, but they will drastically reduce the amount of water that gets through a door. They will not, however, do anything to stop the intense water that comes with storm surge.
“Our goal is to provide residents with tools to create a safer personal and property environment during a time of possible weather impacts. The distribution of these sandbags and face masks will allow for each of us to do our part and be safer, stronger, together,” said Ralphetta Aker, manager of Orange County’s Fiscal & Operational Support at Public Works.
The park sites are: Barnett Park, Downey Park, Bithlo Community Park, Meadow Woods Recreation Center/Meadow Woods Park and West Orange Recreational Complex. All sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday, except West Orange Recreational Complex, which has limited hours on Sunday (1-8 p.m.). These locations will close if there is inclement weather, so do not wait until the last minute because there may be long wait lines.