--> Gill Blog: A State of Preparedness on a 7-24 Basis

Gill Blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A State of Preparedness on a 7-24 Basis

I have attended a number of conferences where I bump into municipal planners who discuss new ways to perfect their current mousetrap, which in their case is usually a business continuity plan for their region. Invariably, you hear lots of "Ah-Has", and "Oh-Hos", and tend to see lots of folks nodding their heads while holding their chins in moments of new discovery. I was thinking the events of the last month could really make all of us pause and see who's really doing this better than anyone.

The string of devastating hurricanes that have hit Florida over the past month are truly unprecedented and really left no part of the state unscathed. Charley made an unexpected right turn to paralyze the Gulf coast; the slower moving, but equally destructive Frances wreaked havoc on the Atlantic coast; while Ivan brought unprecedented death and destruction to the Panhandle. To get some idea of how truly monstrous these hurricanes were, just click on these links to see Frances and Ivan.

Despite the destruction, there is much to be said about how emergency services in the State of Florida have handled everything. I periodically check out what's happening in Tallahassee (still have friends there 17 years after graduating), and came across this page on the website. It is a well laid out page that provides lots of emergency management information including recent stories as well as the locations of local emergency shelters - simple, yet very well presented and extrememly effective.

For each incident that occurred, we saw a carefully coordinated effort between Federal, State and Local governments to get folks back on their feet as soon as possible. Unlike most other places that do their planning based upon the slight probability that a disruptive event may occur sometime in the future, the Sunshine State operates knowing that just as college football season returns every August, so too does Hurricane season, and they do all in their power to stay one step ahead.


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