If you are in an emergency in Florida and cannot speak, family and friends can always be notified quickly.
An emergency can be a car accident or a hurricane like Ian.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department has created an online emergency registry so you can enter your emergency contact information. Officials issued reminders as Ian began to affect the state this week.
Once you register, law enforcement, using the Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety system, can quickly contact people on your list, even across the borders of the state.
The State Emergency Contact Information System was started by Christine Olson of Bradenton in memory of her daughter Tiffiany after Tiffiany was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident on US 19 in Palmetto, less than 15 minutes from her home in December 2005.
But with only his driver’s license as a source of information, it took more than six hours before his mother was notified. By the time Olson found out what happened early the next day, he was told his daughter’s body was already at the medical examiner’s office – and the office was closed for the night. She hadn’t had the chance to say goodbye.
“I sat on my couch with my daughter’s things on my lap and thought, ‘What just happened?'” she told the Bradenton Herald in 2016.
In 2006, Olson approached and gained the support of then-Florida State Representative Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, to have the Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety and law enforcement agencies law enforcement join TIFF, a volunteer emergency contact. Information program, effective October 2, 2006 in Florida.
State Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, sponsored and passed a bill in the 2015 session that allows Bureau of Motor Vehicle employees to ask people who register for a Florida license they want as an emergency contact.
People can register online and through the site and app created by Olson, www.ToInformFamiliesFirst.org
“The goal and the passion, all I care about is making sure what happened to me never happens again, so it doesn’t happen to you,” Olson told WFLA News Channel 8 in 2018. “One day I’ll see my daughter again, you know. And I’m confident in that.
How to register
To log in to the Florida Highway and Motor Vehicle Safety online site, visit mydmvportal.flhsmv.gov/home/en/publicweb/ecioutside/
To inform families first, visit toinformfamiliesfirst.org.
You can also register when renewing or obtaining a Florida driver’s license.
What is the Emergency Contact Information Site?
The ECI is a secure system that only law enforcement in the country can access in order to contact designated family or friends in response to an emergency, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
Who has access to your information?
Law enforcement agencies have access to it for the purpose of contacting those you have listed in the event of an emergency. As of July 1, 2022, Florida statutes 394.463 and 397.6772 state that “a home facility, hospital, or licensed drug or rehabilitation center has access to your emergency contact information for the sole purpose of notifying people you have listed from your travels,” according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.
Will my information be used for other purposes?
The information provided on these emergency contact forms is only used to notify designated contacts in the event of an emergency.
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Tampa Bay Times 2022 Hurricane Guide
ROAD CLOSURES: What you need to know about bridges, roads as Hurricane Ian approaches.
HOW TO TALK TO CHILDREN ABOUT THE HURRICANE: A school mental health expert says let them know what’s going on, keep a routine and stay calm.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT A SHELTER: What to bring – and what not to bring – as well as information on pets, civility and more.
WHAT TO DO IF A HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
SECURE YOUR HOME: Storms and property damage go hand in hand. Here’s how to prepare.
IT’S THE SEASON OF STORMS: Prepare and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
GROWING THREAT: Tampa Bay is going to be flooded. Here’s how to prepare.
RECHECK: Checklists for Building All Kinds of Hurricane Kits
PHONE HIM: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.
SELF-ADMINISTERED CARE: Protect your sanity during a hurricane.
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PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times has teamed up with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.
PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don’t understand the risk.
PART 3: Tampa Bay is at huge flood risk. What should we do about it?
INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the risk of hurricane flooding.