EOC Leadership

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The Department of Homeland Security recently issued a disaster preparedness report and Florida was the only state in the country to earn top marks. That's great, but state emergency management officials aren't resting on their laurels.

The head of the State Emergency Management made a stop in the panhandle to stress his message of preparedness.

Some would call Tropical Storm Alberto uneventful, but Emergency Operations Centers statewide took advantage of the opportunity to work out some kinks.

Craig Fugate, Florida Director of Emergency Management, said, "We look at every storm the same. We find that the repetition of doing it, preparing as if it may be a damaging event; serves us well if we have a storm later on in the season."

State Emergency Management Director Craig Fugate visited Jackson Monday to speak with the county's emergency operation elements. The message was teamwork and preparedness.

"When our communities are a team, we're gonna do well in a disaster no matter how big they are."

But emergency agencies can't be the only ones preparing. Fugate says every Floridian can always look for ways to improve. That means having your supplies, an evacuation and an overall disaster plan you and for your home and business.

"We're finding that that's the key to success in the state is how well do our citizens prepare, and unfortunately in Florida, although we do a little bit better than other states, we're not good enough, so we continue to encourage our folks to get a plan and be ready for a disaster."

If you'd like to get help coming up with a disaster preparedness plan for you home or small business, you can visit www.florida-disaster.org.