Florida Emergency Officials Prepare for Hurricane Charley

State officials say Florida is better prepared than ever to handle the threat, as long as the public does their part too. Florida’s Emergency Management headquarters is command central for coordination of the state’s preparedness and response to what could be a devastating hurricane.

Every state agency is represented, from transportation to health to the National Guard. Jeb Bush spent much of the day here, getting briefed on the latest developments. He’s also worried about the storm’s aftermath.

“Children could be playing in the street, in flooded areas and be electrocuted. We saw that happen in the south Florida area after storms hit in the last two years. So these are serious times and I know that people will respond to this because they love their families, they’re concerned about it and they’re going to do the right thing,” comments Gov. Jeb Bush.

Children and families are also on the mind of Florida’s Health Secretary John Agwunobi.

As he leafed through the agency’s free Family Preparedness Guide, he talked about the need for parents to take their kids fears about the hurricane seriously.

“Continuously reinforce in the children the fact that it doesn’t matter what happens, the family is going to stick together, that at no point will they have to deal as a child with the threat on their own,” Agwunobi explains.

Florida’s National Guard says it is well-prepared to handle the threat too. In spite of ongoing deployment of troops overseas, Florida has about 10,000 soldiers here at home to help out local communities.

“That we bring to the fight, high-wheel vehicles, trucks, trained national guardsmen in street duty. We of course have heavy equipment, construction trades, those sort of things,” shares MG Douglas Burnett of the Florida National Guard.

State officials insist Florida has come a long way since hurricane Andrew, with better technology, coordination, and trained personnel.