By: Kevin Clark
August 13, 2014
This week marks 10-years since Hurricane Charley hit South-West Florida.
Porter Chandler of Tallahassee Homes says because of Hurricane Charley, the Florida building code has stronger practices to keep homes safe.
"The primary one is the stronger wind zone from 110 to 120 miles per hour. That's probably been the most significant change we've had," said Chandler.
Chandler says, construction has come a long way since Charley hit in 2004. Buildings now have to be able to withstand stronger winds, but this isn't the only advancement in the last 10 years. State officials say the use of better technology has greatly improved the ability to prepare for storms.
Bryan Koon, Director of Florida Division of Emergency Management said, "The hurricane center improves their accuracy when it comes to both the track forecasting and the intensity forecasting, so our ability to know ahead of time what that storm is going to do gets better every year."
This includes the use the social media to faster communicate with citizens. The state now has a Facebook and a twitter for this purpose. They plan on releasing a mobile app soon. Leon county wasn't affected by Charley, but officials close to home say it does offer a good lesson in preparation.
"While Hurricane Charley deviated from the official forecast track which had it going to the Tampa Bay area, the area that it hit near Punta Gorda was within the hurricane watch and warning, and citizens of that area should have been prepared," said Kevin Peters.
The most important lesson from officials: Storms can change in direction and intensity, and to live in Florida means to always be ready.
State officials say hurricane season is nearing its peak.
News Release: FDEM
August 13, 2014
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Ten years ago today, Hurricane Charley made landfall near Port Charlotte in Southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm, making it the strongest storm since Hurricane Andrew to impact Florida. On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Charley, Florida’s residents and visitors are reminded to have a family emergency plan and a disaster supply kit. It only takes one storm to significantly impact your family, business, and community.
“Hurricane Charley was the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida during the 2004 season. Florida’s State Emergency Response Team worked together to provide support during the response and recovery of the storm,” said FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon. “The 2004 hurricane season produced some of the most devastating hurricanes in Florida’s history and serves as a reminder that hurricanes can change the landscape of a community.”
Hurricane Charley’s impact was felt across the state as it made its way through the Central and Eastern counties before exiting the state near New Smyrna Beach. Charley left behind an estimated $15 billion in damage and was just the first of four hurricanes to impact Florida that year.
Floridians are encouraged to review and update their family and business emergency plans using the Get A Plan tool available at www.FLGetAPlan.com. It is also important to keep your disaster supply kit stocked with essentials, including canned food and water, to last you and your family for up to 7 days after a storm hits.
For the latest information on the 2014 Hurricane Season and to Get A Plan! Visit www.FLGetAPlan.com, follow FDEM on social media on Twitter at @FLGetAPlan, Instagram @FLGetAPlan, and Facebook at Facebook.com/FloridaDivisionofEmergencyManagement and Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan.