Hurricane Drill

Hurricane Zach hit our area Saturday affecting all the counties of the Big Bend. Fortunately, Hurricane Zach is just a simulated hurricane to help emergency response organizations prepare for the real thing.

Men were packing up food from the Second Harvest food bank to send out to the victims of Hurricane Zach.

Although Hurricane Zach is not an actual hurricane, Saturday's simulated exercise involved several local emergency response groups and is necessary to make sure we're ready when a real storm hits.

"The exercise today is actually concentrating on after the hurricane has hit and what happens afterwards as we keep the shelters open, as the power remains out for several days, as we try to figure out what resources we have to be able to help people," said Andy Windsor with the Second Harvest of the Big Bend food bank.

Ham Radios can become the bloodline for emergency response groups when conventional means of communication fail.

"We have simulated that phone service, cell service is no longer available and this is how they're passing messages back and forth from various shelters, everything from fire department, food banks any place that might need communicating after the disaster," shared Gene Floyd with Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

This simulated hurricane exercise covered all of the counties of the Big Bend area and was conducted as we race toward another hurricane season in Florida. The official start of hurricane season is now just 10 days away. It begins on June 1.