What To Do If...

All emergencies involving the need for police, fire, or paramedics should be reported to 9-1-1.

Red Cross Shelter - East Gadsden High School, 27001 Blue Star Memorial Highway (U.S. 90), Midway

Power Failure - Be prepared. Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flooding, fire/heat, earthquakes and hurricanes can cause power outages. These items could be useful to have around in the event of a power outage: batteries, flashlights, candles, firewood, generator, extra food, water and fuel.

High winds - Occur during severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Board up the windows and watch for tornado warnings. If there is one, get in your basement or a bottom floor bathroom/closet with no windows. Lay down in the tub or on the floor and put a mattress over your head.

Flooding - Thunderstorms and Hurricanes can cause flooding. Low lying areas are Crawfish Island and Coonbottom. Leave for higher ground before the storm or be prepared to wait for the water level to lower before you can drive anywhere.

Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes

When a severe thunderstorm is imminent or already occurring in your area, it's time to put your plan into action. Pay close attention to any storm watches or warnings that have been issued for your location. These storms can cause flooding, high winds and power failure.

The state of Florida ranks fourth nationally in the annual occurrence of tornadoes. The most active season is May through August with June being the peak month.

Between 1980 and 2005, a total of six tornadoes were reported in Gadsden County. The County has been affected by one strong F-2 tornado in 1995 which killed one person and injured another. Nearly $6 million in damages have been attributed to tornadoes in Gadsden County since 1980.


After you call 9-1-1, call the Red Cross and ask for a Disaster Action Team.

Red Cross
Phone: 850-878-6080 | Toll Free: 866-943-9010

Due to Gadsden County’s rural nature, fires represent a significant hazard, particularly for persons living outside municipal boundaries. With more than 64 percent (approximately 29,700) of County residents living outside of incorporated areas, many in older, wood frame homes, wildfires are a significant concern. The County is served by one paid department (Quincy Fire Department) and ten volunteer fire departments: Chattahoochee, Concord, Greensboro, Gretna, Havana, Midway, Mt. Pleasant, Robertsville, Sycamore, and Wetumpka.

On an annual basis the Quincy Fire Department and the ten volunteer fire departments responded to approximately 630 calls. The majority of wild fires have been caused by debris burning that has gotten out of control. Can cause power failure.


Gadsden County is bounded by water on three sides: the Ochlockonee River to the east, the Apalachicola River to the west, and Lake Talquin to the south. Flooding is primarily the result of prolonged rain events typically associated with tropical weather systems. The County normally receives an average of 57” of rainfall per year with the majority of precipitation falling in June, July and August. Intense tropical events can produce 10-20” of rain falling in a 24-hour period of time. Can cause power failure.

Despite the abundance of major water features, Gadsden County historically has not been impacted by flooding to the same degree as neighboring counties. Most of the landmass of the county sits on a plain above the aforementioned rivers and Lake Talquin. Also, the floodplain in Gadsden County is sparsely populated, so few people are in harm’s way in the event of a flood. There are two primary flood prone areas in the County: Crawfish Island and the area near Coonbottom. The community of Coonbottom, located approximately 7 miles east of Havana on State Road 12 near the Ochlockonee River, can become isolated when the Ochlockonee River rises cutting off access to SR 12. Between 8 and 20 homes can be isolated depending on the depth of flooding.



Track hurricanes here and plan accordingly. Since 1960, 15 hurricanes or tropical storms passed within 65 nautical miles of Gadsden County. Hurricanes can cause high winds, flooding, and power failure and poses a significant threat for widespread destruction. The development of a hurricane can be described as follows:

  • Tropical Depression. This is the formative stage of a hurricane; maximum sustained winds are less than 39 MPH.
  • Tropical Storm. The maximum sustained winds for a tropical storm range from 39 MPH to less than 74 MPH.
  • Hurricane. The maximum sustained winds for a hurricane are greater than 74 MPH.

The picture below depicts the paths of tropical storms and hurricanes passing within 65 nautical miles of Gadsden County since 1960.



Earthquakes are very rare and happen mostly on the west coast. But, that does not mean we shouldn't be prepared for one. Maybe you visit a quake prominent area for vacation, this information will come in handy.

Before (now)

  • Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries at home.
  • Learn first aid.
  • Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
  • Make up a plan of where to meet your family after an earthquake.
  • Don't leave heavy objects on shelves (they'll fall during a quake).
  • Anchor heavy furniture, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor.


  • Stay calm! If you're indoors, stay inside. If you're outside, stay outside.
  • If you're indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the building, stand in a doorway, or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table). Stay away from windows and outside doors.
  • If you're outdoors, stay in the open away from power lines or anything that might fall. Stay away from buildings (stuff might fall off the building or the building could fall on you).
  • Don't use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don't mix.
  • If you're in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
  • Don't use elevators (they'll probably get stuck anyway).


  • Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
  • Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else's phone).
  • Turn on the radio. Don't use the phone unless it's an emergency.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings.
  • Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
  • Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you).
  • Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis and seiches sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
  • Stay away from damaged areas.
  • If you're at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
  • Expect aftershocks.