Florida’s battering by hurricanes has highlighted the need for better storm contingency planning.
“Sea level rise, climate change and hurricanes make living in South Florida very hazardous,” said John Renne, Ph.D., director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions. "FAU is at the center of research and community education, working with public and private sectors to develop best practices for becoming more resilient."
Renne recently convened a summit titled, Lessons from Hurricane Irma for Increasing Resilience, From Practice to Revising Plans and Policy.
Hollywood, Florida Mayor Josh Levy told the group that the summit convinced him to shift the city’s focus from Irma’s recovery to better prepare for the next hurricane season.
Seventy participants from the public and private sectors converged to discuss evacuation, sheltering, post-storm planning and legislative changes. Key takeaways from the conference include:
1. Sheltering vulnerable populations in place, including the elderly, is often the best option.
2. Evacuating vulnerable populations — the elderly, special needs, the carless and homeless — requires additional focus from local and state government.
3. Post-disaster recovery plans are key to ensuring procedures are in place for widespread flooding, electrical outages, overall system failures and activating volunteers.