With the beginning of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season beginning Monday, June 1, hurricane prone states across the country are doing their part to help prepare their citizens and communities. From sales tax holidays on hurricane and emergency preparedness equipment in Virginia and Louisiana, to a major hurricane exercise in Florida, states are taking actions to ensure that citizens and the emergency response community are prepared for the 2009 hurricane season.
“Across the country, we are working and communicating with our state and local partners to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “States are also taking it upon themselves to make sure their citizens and responders are prepared. These efforts will go a long way in determining the outcome of the next hurricane or disaster, and I applaud them.”
This past week and again on June 1-3, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management and county programs will conduct exercises to prepare for Hurricane Season. The exercise will be based on a catastrophic incident—it will follow the track of the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926. The hazards will be category 4 hurricane, possible tornados, flooding, and wind damage. This exercise will allow Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA and all Emergency Support Function (ESF) partners an opportunity to test new approaches and methodologies acquired from the 2008 Hurricane Season. For more information, please visit www.floridadisaster.org/index.asp.
This past week, National Hurricane Center Director Bill Reed spoke at the Hoteliers Hurricane Conference held at the Monroe County Mosquito Control Building in Marathon. “Don’t focus on the skinny black line,” Reed warned, referring to the officials who miss calculated the path of Hurricane Ike. “There is no such thing as an absolute forecast.”