Storm Recovery Updates for UF/IFAS Extension Polk County (Sept. 2022)

As our community recovers from Hurricane Ian, see the following storm-related updates from our office. You’ll find extension program and event updates, storm prep and recovery resources, and local resources here.

Stay tuned to your local news channels and Polk County Emergency Management for updates.

This page was last updated: Thursday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m.

Office Hours:

The Extension office and all Polk County government offices reopened to the public on Monday, October 3.

Meeting rooms located in the main building have returned to normal use. The Stuart Center is where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Recovery Center is staged, effective Monday, October 10. It will not be available for user groups while occupied by FEMA. Also, the Extension office is  not able to field FEMA-related calls. See more information about FEMA below under “Resources.”

Events and Programming:

  • 4-H Youth Development: programs and events have resumed as normal
  • Small Farms: Small farms operations and producers can contact Luis for information on damage assessments after the storm has passed. Please see his contact information, here: Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Program
  • Gardening and Landscaping: As of Monday, October 3, all gardening classes and events for the week of October 3-8, 2022, have been canceled or postponed. This includes the Munch and Learn workshop on native plants at Se7en Wetlands on Wednesday, Oct. 5 (postponed), the workshop on lawns at Mackay Gardens on Thursday, Oct.6 (canceled), and the Fall Plant Sale on Saturday, Oct. 8 (postponed). For more information on our classes, workshops, and events please visit  All gardening and landscaping classes scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, through Thursday, September 29, 2022, have been canceled. Please check for class and workshop updates.
  • Nutrition and Healthy Living: Classes scheduled for Thursday, September 29, at the Haley Center have been rescheduled for October 5, 2022.
  • Livestock and Forages: Polk County producers, please check for an email from Bridget.
  • Natural Resources and Conservation: programs and events have resumed as normal
  • Pesticide Applicator Training: Pesticide Applicator exams scheduled for Monday, October 3 were canceled. If the date is scheduled for later in October, test takers will be notified.


After the Storm:

Disaster Debris Pick-up:

  • Polk County storm debris will be managed by a third-party contractor authorized by FEMA. See below for more information:
    • “Polk County must adhere to FEMA guidelines for collecting hurricane debris. On first pass through neighborhoods, debris collection haulers will only pick up limbs, tree trunks, etc. that are stacked at the curb. They will pick up bagged debris on the second pass. Keep bagged leaves, moss, and twigs away from the limb pile. Do NOT place the bags directly in front or behind the limb pile, as they get in the way of the claws picking up the stacks. Brown paper leave bags are preferred to plastic. Plastic bags are subjected to being opened and inspected to ensure that it is yard waste and not household garbage. This only slows the collection process for everyone.For more information, call (800) 375-0844.”
      – Polk County Emergency Management, link:
    • “A medida que avanza con la limpieza del huracán Ian, tenga en cuenta que los escombros de construcción NO DEBEN MEZCLARSE CON los desechos del patio y la vegetación de huracán.Los escombros del huracán serán recolectados por un proveedor contratado, no por su proveedor de servicios normal. Si se mezclan, es posible que sus desechos no se recojan.Llame a nuestra línea directa de escombros del huracán Ian al (800) 375-0844.Gracias por ayudar al Condado de Polk a hacer que esta tarea desalentadora sea un poco más ágil y fácil.”
      – Polk County Emergency Management, link:

(Past Update) Storm Preparation:


Avatar photoAvatar photoAvatar photoHeadshot of Julie Schelb, Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator with UF/IFAS Extension Polk County.Avatar photoAvatar photoAvatar photoAvatar photo
Posted: September 23, 2022

Category: Disaster Preparation, Food Safety, Work & Life
Tags: Disaster, Disaster Preparation, Disaster Recovery, Food Safety, Hurricane, Hurricane Ian, Hurricane Prep, Hurricane Preparation, Hurricane Preparedness, Polk County FL, Preparedness, Safety, Storms

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