Tallahassee Outranking Other Cities in Preparedness

A survey of 183 cities across the country shows that cities need to further strengthen their relationships with the federal government. The survey comes from the United States Conference of Mayors.

Tallahassee is coming out strong as far as preparedness. Lessons from two hurricane seasons and the 9/11 terror attacks have helped boost the capital city's readiness to respond.

Vicky McCaffrey says she feels the city is prepared.

"I feel like as a whole, a lot of individuals are more prepared, so I'm more prepared."

The survey poses ten questions. We're breaking it down to a few. One question is asking how far away they are from the ability of all first responders to communicate. The average response was four years away, but Tallahassee says the communications systems are in place now.

Another asks if evacuation plans have been updated since last year's hurricanes. Tallahassee said yes. Still, some residents say they feel they need to hear more from local government.

Ann Hunter said, "I don't really feel they've communicated too much with all of us. [They should] compile something people can use."

When it comes to a bird flu pandemic, Tallahassee is like most other cities and not ready to handle an outbreak on its own. However, the city officials say they are working on that.

Tallahassee has recently teamed up with Leon County and the county Health Department to launch an educational initiative focusing on home health care. The emphasis is in hopes people will be able to take care of themselves at home in the event an avian flu pandemic strikes.

Tallahassee also outranked other cities in its confidence level of surviving on its own for the first 72 hours after a disaster. For a look at the entire study, you can go to the "As Seen on WCTV" link on this Web site.