Lee County emergency managers say they’re concerned about a different kind of complacency this hurricane season. Lee Emergency Managers say there is concern that too many residents believe they’ve been through a direct hit from a major hurricane. Southwest Florida’s seen a lot of action during the last two hurricane seasons…with major land-falling storms Charley and Wilma.
But Chief of Planning for Lee County Emergency Management - Gerald Campbell – says they worry how people view the past two storm seasons.
“In Lee County we’ve had some close calls, we’ve had some significant hurricane damage…but most of our population has not experienced a major hurricane and we worry about complacency for that. Because now we’ve got people with possibly a misperception that they’ve been through a major storm when they have not.”
Campbell says residents have heard it, and will hear it again…be prepared to take full responsibility for yourself and your family for as long as two weeks after a storm – including stocking up on food, water, medicines and other supplies. Hurricane season gets underway June 1st.
The underlying theme of last week’s National Hurricane Conference in Orlando was “lessons learned”. But emergency managers in Lee County say they’re concerned about local complacency because some residents think they’ve already learned all they need to know about hurricanes, when that’s not necessarily the case.
EOC spokesman Gerald Campbell says he doesn’t want to make light of anyone who suffered damage from recent hurricanes, but most of them haven’t seen the real thing.
“Even in Hurricane Charley we didn’t have the storm surge that we expected from a category 4. And in Hurricane Wilma the majority of the winds and the surge stayed well south of most of Lee County, and we want people to understand that.”
Campbell says Lee County works year-round to teach its residents ways to better prepare for hurricanes. He says that’s a growing challenge because of the area’s rapidly growing population.
Monday, 17 April 2006 01:00