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hurricane approaching the American continent visible above the E

Hurricane Idalia


Head Start  Duval  | CLOSED Tuesday (8/29)-Thursday (8/31)

Head Start Pinellas  | CLOSED Tuesday (8/29)-Wednesday (8/30)

Head Start Hillsborough | CLOSED Tuesday (8/29)-Wednesday (8/30)

Head Start Palm Beach County  | NONE






Manatee CMO – CLOSED 1pm Monday (8/28)-Wednesday (8/30)

All centers are open.


Employee hotline 1-855-360-3445

Messages from LSF leadership:

Bob Bialas | 08.29.2023

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Good Morning LSF!

Yes, Tropical Stom Idalia is now Hurricane Idalia. Idalia is moving North/North East and is projected to make landfall around 0600 Wednesday morning. The current “cone of uncertainty” is projecting landfall in Dixie County. While we are monitoring Idalia, we continue to provide services to our children and families across Florida. Most of our services are still open throughout the State. We do have closures in Head Start (Head Start follows the local School District’s schedule). We are not providing direct Head Start services in Pinellas County (August 29 & 30), Duval County (August 29 – 31), and Hillsborough County (August 29 & 30). I will provide additional information this afternoon. As of now, Governor DeSantis has issued state of emergency for 46 Florida counties, and President Biden approved the needed Emergency Declaration for Florida.

Multiple services are closed in each County on the West side of the State. Please visit local County websites for updated information. Please see for school, University, and other reported closures. As always, please be safe and be aware of your surroundings. To ensure our clients are safe and served, we must also me safe.

Prayers and thank you for taking care of our children and families in need across Florida.


Bob Bialas | 08.28.2023

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Dear LSF,

I’m certain we have all been watching the evolution of Tropical Storm Idalia over the weekend. As we were all hoping that it would dissipate, it has not.

As of now, NOAA is predicting a possible Category 3 prior to landfall Wednesday early morning. Hurricane Idalia (soon to be) is projected to make landfall north of Tampa. Please see for current updates.

I encourage you to watch the news and be aware of the track shifts and timing of the storm as it approaches Florida. Now is the time to revisit your home and work disaster plans and lessons learned from Hurricane Ian.

Program Leadership will be in touch as we have closures throughout the state. Our Senior Leadership team will begin regular calls and the communications team has refreshed our hurricane website with relevant information to this storm. You can also call our employee hotline 1-855-360-3445. I will stay in touch through e-mail and one calls.


  • Check your emergency kits and replenish any items you used during Hurricane Ian
  • Talk about your emergency plan and lessons learned from Hurricane Ian members
  • Know your LSF program’s disaster plan.
  • Update your contact information in UltiPro to ensure you receive LSF messages. See attached “How To.”

If you have program specific questions, please reach out to your manager or Executive Vice President who oversees your area:  Mike Carroll (, Christine Cauffield (, me (


Bob Bialas
Executive Vice President of Head Start
LSF Disaster Response Lead

forecast cone updated at 11:00 AM EST on 8/30/23

Have a Family Emergency Plan

The Great Hurricane Blowout offers a number of preparation resources including tools for building a family emergency plan and hurricane emergency kit at

What will your family do if a hurricane is coming? You should have a family emergency plan.

  • Collect copies of important papers such as the deed to your home, insurance paperwork, financial information, etc.
  • Review your property insurance coverage and keep updated photos and/or a video inventory of your personal belongings.
  • Store important phone numbers such as the number of your insurance company, doctor, veterinarian, and family contacts in a safe place.
  • Identify your evacuation routes. Have an alternate route planned in case the first option is not navigable.
  • Identify the safest place in your home to ride out a storm and make sure everyone knows where to go.
  • In case your family is not together when a hurricane hits, make sure you have a pre-identified meeting place in addition to your home, and make sure everyone knows the address and phone number of your meeting spot.
  • If you have a medical issue or may need help evacuating, contact your local emergency management agency now to find out how to get the help you may need.

Sheltering In Place

When sheltering in place take some steps to ensure you are prepared.

  • Move all electronics away from the windows/outside walls of the house.
  • Take a picture of the back of electronics (for reference when setting back up) and unplug the electronics to avoid damage during any power surges.
  • Cover electronics with plastic bags to avoid possible water damage
  • Know where your electrical panels are in your house is to check breakers to re-activate power
  • Make sure you have picked up available sandbags if needed CENTRAL FLORIDA | WEST FLORIDA
  • Make sure vehicles are filled with fuel
  • Stock toilet paper and drinking water
  • If you have pets fill your bathtub with water so they have something to drink if water service is disrupted
  • make sure any mini power supplies, phones, and MIFIs are charged

Build a Hurricane Emergency Kit

The following supplies should be included in all hurricane emergency kits. Special circumstances such as medical needs or pets should be taken into consideration when planning your kit.

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for each person in the household (one gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank emergency radio
  • Flashlight
  • Dust masks (at least 4)
  • Batteries (8 AA and 4 D)
  • Trash bags (4 per kit)
  • First aid kit that includes: two pairs of latex or other sterile gloves; sterile dressing to stop bleeding; cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic wipes to disinfect; antibiotic ointment to prevent infection; burn ointment to prevent infection; adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes; eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as a general decontaminant.
  • Can opener
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Five-gallon bucket or other container for kit supplies
LUTHERAN SERVICES FLORIDA CENTRAL SERVICES | 3627 W. WATERS AVE | TAMPA, FL 33614 | PHONE: (813) 875-1408 | FAX: (813) 875-1302

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