NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — Counties along the Gulf Coast are ready to respond come severe storm season.
Forecasters including our own WKRG News 5 First Alert Storm Team anticipate another above-average hurricane season, with 19 named storms predicted this year.
Emergency personnel practiced a hurricane drill at the Okaloosa County Emergency Operations Command at the Northwest Florida State College campus Friday, April 22.
Crews reacted to information presented from a category two storm named Ken.
The teams organized responses from law enforcement to schools, to transportation and communication.
Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox said the drill every year makes the teams prepared to be flexible in case a disaster strikes.
“Flexibility is the name of the game and flexibility is built into all of our comprehensive emergency management plans and the mindset of all the people you see behind me,” said Patrick Maddox, Okaloosa County Director of Public Safety.
“That is why they get little things called injects in the hurricane exercise. So you think you’re going to be doing this but next thing you know we have a building collapse to we have a power failure at a critical infrastructure place.”
Maddox said another major part of the emergency operation is the financial team.
The finance department has recently wrapped up Okaloosa County’s recovery from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The team is still working with FEMA and other agencies from Hurricane Michael and Sally destruction.