Friday, June 1 2012, 09:58 PM EDT
EOC preps non-profits for hurricane season
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- The Atlantic hurricane Season is officially underway and goes through the end of November. We've already had two named storms and Palm Beach County's Emergency Operations Center is leaving nothing to chance.
The EOC held a forum for non-profits, aimed at making sure they know what to do before, during and after a storm.
Bill Johnson/EOC: Exchanging business cards in the middle of a disaster is the wrong thing to be doing.
So before we have any storms headed our way, the county's Emergency Operations Center wants to make sure local volunteer organizations are up to speed.
Bill Johnson/EOC: They're actually doing a reality check. Are their disaster plans robust enough and if not, what do they need to do to fix them?
Bill Johnson, the director of Emergency Management in Palm Beach County, says the biggest challenges during hurricane season for these non profit groups is turnover, and complacency during years that storms don't hit. This is a way he says, to dust off their emergency plans and come together. Coming together especially important during a down economy.
Jennifer Beckman/PBC Disaster Recovery Coalition: We need to really be unifying all of our resources and working together because as individuals we can't do nearly what we can as a group.
The majority of the talking, done by Palm Beach Fire Rescue along with the Sheriff's Office, FEMA and NOAA. The purpose to drive home what they deal with during catastrophic storms and how they work together.
Jennifer Beckman/PBC Disaster Recovery Coalition: It's getting the bigger picture of what not only fire rescue is doing and what law enforcement's doing, but we need to learn what's happening in the response in order to recover better.
Even with the National Hurricane Center saying that it should be a slightly below average season, the folks inside training say you need not look any further than back to 20 years ago - Another supposed slow season.
Kathy Adams/CEO, Non Profit First: We could have only 9 storms and one can be an Andrew and that was supposed to be a slower year. So nobody really should be relaxed and comfortable.