This document [PDF] contains guidelines on properly and safely using a portable generator during a power outage. Please follow these guidelines to keep your family safe - and ours!

Hurricane Tips: The City of Bartow recommends these 12 hurricane tips

  1. Following a power outage, unplug all of your large appliances and electronics to prevent power surges when electricity is restored, which can often damage equipment and create fire hazards.
  2. Remember the "three don'ts" when using generators: Don't run a generator in the house; Don't run a generator in the garage; and Don't plug the generator directly into your home's main electrical system. The first two can lead to asphyxiation, and the third can send an electrical charge back into the power grid, posing an electrocution hazard to utility workers.
  3. If your home is flooded, turn off your electrical power until a professional inspects it thoroughly.
  4. If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and contact your gas company's emergency number.
  5. Make sure that you have current identification. You may have to pass through identification check points before being allowed access to your home or neighborhood.
  6. After the storm, check to see if your home's weatherhead is damaged - it is located above the electric meter. Utility workers cannot reconnect service if this piece of equipment (which is the homeowner's responsibility) is damaged. If your weatherhead needs repair, please contact a licensed electrician.
  7. Utilities often cannot respond to customers with special needs during or immediately after a storm. When warned of an incoming storm, make an early decision to evacuate people with special needs. Know the location of special needs shelters in case you are unable to evacuate. If you or someone in your family has special electrical medical equipment needs, notify your electric utility prior to a storm's arrival.
  8. Visit to determine your hurricane evacuation route.
  9. Capture water in your water heater by turning off power to the unit and closing the water valves. If you lose water pressure, you will have about 40 gallons of fresh water stored in the tank. Store additional water in your bathtub and fill the washing machine with water. This water supply can be used for cleaning or to operate your toilet.
  10. Clear your patio and yard of lawn furniture, toys, potted plants, and other debris that could blow around in high winds and cause damage or injury.
  11. Prior to the storm, identify the places around your home where gas, water and electricity can be shut off. In an emergency, you'll want to be able to turn them off quickly.
  12. Create a hurricane survival kit that includes: first aid supplies; water; batteries; flashlights; battery powered radio; manual can opener; prescriptions; baby food and diapers; pet food; canned foods; cash; tarps; rope; bleach; trash bags; charcoal or gas grill with plenty of fuel; wooden kitchen matches; and a portable cooler. Don't forget a hardwired phone. Cordless phones will not work during a power outage.

Click here to find out more!





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Wednesday, November 11, 2016, 11:00 a.m., Bartow Civic Center 2250 Floral Avenue, Bartow 33830

The Veteran’s Day Celebration Committee will be holding a “Salute to Our Hometown Heroes” Appreciation Luncheon, which will honor Veterans of all military branches of service.

The luncheon will be held at the Bartow Civic Center on November 11 at 11 a.m. Veterans of the Greater Bartow area may register themselves and a guest to attend the complimentary luncheon. Others wishing to attend, depending on space available, may do so by purchasing a $25 ticket.

Sponsorships are available. Contact Jeff Clark, (Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce) at (863) 533-7125; or Freda Ridgway (Mosaic) at (813) 500-6925 for more information.


Our next Chamber Travel Opportunity -

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CANYON COUNTRY featuring Arizona & Utah

May 15-23, 2017

BOOK NOW AND SAVE $120 per person

For bookings made after Nov. 15, 2016, call for rates: Ruthelise Anderson, Cruise Planners, (863) 644-1014.





The Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 is proud to announce its 7th Annual Champions Cup Business & Industry Awards, with special guest speaker, Congressman Tom Rooney.


Tom Rooney was raised in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Following high school, he went on to play college football at Syracuse University and Washington and Jefferson College. After receiving his BA in English Literature, Tom worked for Senator Connie Mack in Washington, DC.

TomRooneysmTom returned home to Florida to attend the University of Florida where he received a Masters Degree and the University of Miami, School of Law where he earned his J.D. and met his wife Tara.

After graduation, Tom and Tara spent over four years in the United States Army JAG Corps. Most notably he served as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney on Fort Hood, TX prosecuting all civilian crimes on post. In 2002, Tom was selected to teach Constitutional and Criminal Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

In 2004, Tom returned to Florida and went to work as an Assistant Attorney General. After leaving the Attorney General's office, he became CEO of "The Children's Place at Home Safe," a home for abused and neglected children. He was later appointed by Governor Bush to the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County Board of Directors. In 2006, Tom entered private practice and joined a Stuart law firm.

On November 4th 2008, Tom was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Florida's 17th district. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee's on Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and State and Foreign Operations. He is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and serves as Chairman of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Emerging Threats. He also serves as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Tom and Tara live in Okeechobee with their three young sons: Tommy Jr., Sean, and Seamus.

Business & Industry Awards (Nominate here.)
The purpose of this program is to recognize and honor businesses/organizations that have championed exemplary best practices, and have had a positive influence on the economic well-being of the Bartow area business community.

Spirit of Bartow Awards (Nominate here.)
Nominees for this award should be individuals or groups that have significantly contributed to the Bartow community and their accomplishments/contributions made a positive impact on the area’s quality of life.

Click on the heading above for the online nomination/application form for you to fill out in order to enter your business/organization, or to nominate one of your fellow Bartow area businesses/organizations. You will also find a nomination form for the Spirit of Bartow Awards. All nominations are confidential to the selection committee only. FOR A PDF VERSION OF THE FORMS, CLICK HERE.

Awards will be presented on October 20 at the Committee of 100’s Champions Cup Dinner at the Bartow Civic Center. Each nominated company/organization and Spirit of Bartow nominee will receive two free tickets to the event.

I hope that you will take this opportunity to share your successes, or those of a business/organization or individual you admire, by participating in the program.

The Committee of 100 is proud to offer this program that honors excellence and contributions to our community and the local economy.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber at 863-533-7125.




Follow these links for more information:

Main Street Bartow, Inc.

City of Bartow Parks and Recreation Dept.

Polk County History Center

Lots to do on Bartow’s Main Street every month

Movies on the Lawn
Come watch a free movie on the lawn on the fourth Friday of every month. The movie begins shortly after dark on the corner of Main and Wilson at the grassy lot. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray and enjoy a popular movie outdoors with the family – there’s nothing like it! Usually one of the service clubs will have snacks available for purchase, or bring your own. See you at dark-thirty!

Community Yard Sale

Always the third Saturday every month, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., downtown Bartow.

Farmer’s Market
Each Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., come to Fort Blount Park and find fresh vegetables plus other great item at the Main Street Farmer’s Market.

Friday, Friday, Friday
Friday Fest Street Party fun continues on Oct. 21st! Live entertainment is featured.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday
Every second Saturday, find collectibles and treasures at the Downtown Antique Fair on East Main Street from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Main Street Bartow’s Uptown Community Yard Sale is on the third Saturday of each month on the corner of Wilson and Main. Look for bargains or sell your treasures from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on any Main Street Bartow events, call the office at (863) 519-0508. If you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Main Street Bartow is located at 180 South Central Ave.