Real News podcast: Tropical Storm Fred

Escambia County Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore talks about the county’s preparations for Tropical Storm Fred. Currently the storm is expected to make landfall Monday night or early Tuesday morning east of Panama City, but that could change once it enters the Gulf of Mexico.

And, yes, Skanska has been called.



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Residents Encouraged to Monitor Tropical Depression Fred

Escambia County is encouraging residents and visitors to closely monitor official weather sources for information regarding Tropical Depression Fred. The National Weather Service of Mobile is forecasting Tropical Depression Fred to move across the Florida Straits before turning northwest and strengthening into a tropical storm as it moves across the eastern Gulf on Sunday, Aug. 15.

While it’s still too early to determine potential impacts to Escambia County, the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center has Fred approaching the eastern Gulf Coast Sunday, Aug. 15 as a tropical storm; however, there remains some uncertainty regarding exactly where Fred will eventually make landfall. While the current forecast track is east of the area, much of the forecast area is in the cone of uncertainty, so it is important to pay attention to forecast updates over the next several days as tropical storm conditions remain possible. A local risk for rip currents will increase this weekend with a high risk on Sunday through early next week. More information on the flag system is available online here.

Residents are reminded to follow official sources for storm information such as National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, Escambia County Emergency Management and City of Pensacola.

“Emergency Management will continue to monitor Tropical Depression Fred over the weekend,” said Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore. “Trigger points have been set and the responsible agencies have been notified. Citizens should remain vigilant and make preparations before the weekend. There are many unknowns, so it is important to be prepared and make sure your plans are in place. Currently, tropical storm force winds are predicted to be possible late Sunday night into Monday.”

Escambia County Emergency Management is closely monitoring this system. Residents are urged to do the same by monitoring our local media for the most up-to-date forecasts several times a day.

Residents are encouraged to prepare their disaster kits now, which should include seven days of food and water supplies for after the storm arrives. Residents are also encouraged to fuel all vehicles and generators, and prepare all medications needed by family and pets. Individuals should also consider having at least two emergency supply kits, one full kit at home and smaller portable kits in their workplace, vehicle or other places they spend time. Remember, this year’s disaster kit might need to look a little different if you’re planning to go to a shelter—make sure to include face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes.

Sand is available now at the following locations:

  • Baars Field Athletic Park – 13001 Sorrento Road, Pensacola
  • Brent Athletic Park – 4711 N. W St., Pensacola
  • Don Sutton Park – 2320 Crabtree Church Road, Molino
  • Equestrian Center – 7750 Mobile Highway, Pensacola
  • Escambia County Road Department – 601 Highway 297-A, Pensacola
  • Ferry Pass Middle School – 8355 Yancey Lane, Pensacola, sand will be on the northwest corner of school property on Parazine Street
  • John R. Jones Jr. Athletic Park – 555 E. Nine Mile Road, Pensacola
  • Travis M. Nelson Park –  4541 County Road 4, Pensacola

The sand is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents must bring their own sandbags and shovels to one of the following locations. View map of sand locations here.

Follow These Tips to Prepare for a Storm

  • Know Your Zone – Go to to find out which evacuation zone you are in. Sign up for alerts on
  • Know Your Home – Is it newly built – possibly rated for a hurricane? Your safest place may be at home rather than a shelter due to COVID-19.
  • Know Your Plan – plan ahead to stay with loved ones, friends or stay at a hotel away from the area, especially if your home was damaged from Hurricane Sally or you live along coastal areas.

Follow these tips to stay safe during severe weather:

  • Pay extra attention to local weather reports until the storm has moved through the area. Be sure to keep your weather radio on and your cell phone charged to ensure you can receive weather alerts.
  • With the possibility of high winds, it is recommended that any lightweight outside furniture or equipment be secured.
  • Organizations with planned outside activities during this period need to be weather aware and take the appropriate actions.
  • In the event of a Tornado Warning, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of your home or building. Stay away from windows.
  • Turn around, don’t drown: In the event of a roadway covered by water, do not attempt to drive over the flooded road. Water depth may be misleading, and you could end up stranded or trapped.

For the latest information on severe weather impacting Escambia County, residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts on, like Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook and follow @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter.

Stay informed with these additional local resources: