What if a Tornado Strikes Your Neighborhood?

By: COT Press Release
By: COT Press Release

Tallahassee, FL -- June 12, 2012 --

A sunny Tallahassee day becomes overcast, and soon ominous clouds begin to build to the west of the city. The buildup quickly morphs into a line of strong thunderstorms. One of the stronger storm cells then moves through the heart of the city, with reports of a tornado impacting several neighborhoods. How would your neighborhood react to such a scenario? Does your neighborhood association have a plan of action to respond after a tornado or other types of weather-related disasters? Would you be able to assist elderly or disabled neighbors?

To help neighborhood leaders and residents learn how to respond to a disaster such as a tornado, the City of Tallahassee's Emergency Management Division is teaming up with Disaster Resistant Communities Group to stage a tabletop exercise for neighborhoods. The event will take place on Saturday, June 30, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Tallahassee Fire Department's training facility, 2964 Municipal Way (behind TFD station #4 at the corner of W. Pensacola St. and Appleyard Dr.).

At the training event, participants will work with facilitators to gain a thorough understanding of how prepared neighborhoods are for a tornado and will also establish a concept of operations to guide the neighborhood and its residents through the process of responding to a tornado. By working together as team, participants will be able to strengthen their disaster readiness and enhance the disaster response knowledge of their neighborhood's residents.

"Federal, state and local agencies train constantly on being able to provide a rapid, organized and effective response to natural disasters," said Robby Powers, the City's Emergency Management Coordinator. "But with an event such as a tornado, the individual residents in any given neighborhood are right there and can therefore provide an immediate response to their neighbors in need. This training will offer tips to neighborhood leaders and residents on how they can organize their own response efforts."

While teams of three or more residents from any neighborhood may take part in the June 30 event, everyone participating must register individually at www.formidablefootprint.org .

The City of Tallahassee maintains a comprehensive Emergency Management operation, and members of the City’s Emergency Management Team receive extensive training, via courses offered by FEMA, the Florida Division of Emergency Management or other agencies. The City works directly with other agencies, including Leon County, the State of Florida and others as needed, to properly respond to all emergency situations. For more information, please visit Talgov.com/emergency.

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