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EOC Centers Not Hurricane Safe

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

Franklin County's Emergency Operations Center is filled with the latest technology to deal with natural disasters.

There’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in computer equipment and emergency bedding, but the building around that technology may not be strong enough to handle a hurricane.

Butch Baker, Franklin County Emergency Management Director, says, "It was built to 100 mile per hour wind standards, wind loads, which is category two. Category three comes in at 111 miles per hour."

According to the flood impact maps, a category three hurricane would send waters 1/4 mile within the building, and the wave action would actually send water towards it.

"We do not have the funds to build a new EOC, and so we recognize that we need to have a safe secure center, we are a coastal county and hurricanes are a big part of our lives down here, and so we are looking for state or the feds to assist us in this venture."

The emergency management director says his staff would have to evacuate the building before a category two hurricane hits, but he adds if he had a stronger building, he would consider stay through the storm.

Franklin County isn't the only one discovering its EOC center isn't strong enough for a category three hurricane. Hamilton, Jefferson, Liberty and Madison Counties are also not up to Florida Emergency Management code.


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