Yearly Hurricane Briefing Reviews Current Season, Plans Ahead

By: Rick Flagg
By: Rick Flagg

Eight days after Dennis ran roughshod over the Florida Panhandle, state and federal experts gathered at the state Emergency Operations Center to review their preparations for the season and their response to Dennis.

Craig Fugate, Florida Emergency Management Director, says, "There's been a lot made that this was not as bad as other storms. If you've been on Navarre Beach, it was worse. If you were on St. Marks, it was worse. If you were on St. George Island, it was worse than hurricanes from last year."

Ninety nine percent of the power has been restored and damaged sections of the coastal highway should reopen next week, but Dennis uncovered problems with the fuel supply.

Gov. Jeb Bush says he’ll be convening a summit meeting with wholesalers and distributors to find a way to keep the gas flowing.

Gov. Jeb Bush says, “When there are mandatory evacuations we need to make sure that in those evacuation routes there is gasoline, that the worst thing that could happen is local officials ask for people to leave and that there is not a way from them to do so."

Bush is also loaning his voice to a new public service campaign that shows Floridians the right way to board up their windows with plywood before a storm.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson of the Alliance for Safe Housing says, “We don't want them to turn to methods that aren't effective, like masking tape or solar film or different things that we saw this past week, and we were dismayed to see it again."

Gov. Bush says they learn something new with every storm. They also learned that next year’s hurricane briefing should probably take place a bit sooner.


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