When Hurricane Irma was forecasted to be catastrophic storm that would take a south-to-north path over the center of the Florida peninsula, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contracted Global-5 to provide public information support for its Florida 511 Traveler information System during the severe weather event.

Before the storm, we drafted a news release with talking points about road closure and detour route features added to the Florida 511 website, and social media posts with evacuation route information in English and Spanish.

We also updated and distributed the Florida 511 Severe Weather & Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit to more than 70 emergency management agencies in Florida, the Florida Trucking Association and primary and secondary schools throughout the state.

During the storm, we performed system checks to ensure information accuracy and timeliness on all Florida 511 system platforms, including the website, interactive voice response phone system, mobile app and social media channels.

We also monitored social media accounts of law enforcement, emergency management and cities and counties throughout the state for road and bridge closures and detour route information that needed to be posted as urgent alerts on the Florida 511 system and social media channels.

After the storm, we drafted a news release with talking points that provided relevant travel information for returning evacuees. We also developed a database of Florida 511 mentions in the news media and social media for creating a coverage report showing the number of mentions, potential audience and monetary value of each mention before, during and after the storm.

At the request of FDOT’s Traffic Engineering and Operations Office, we created a presentation summarizing efforts before, during and after the storm that resulted in historic Florida 511 system usage, media coverage and social network traffic.