Leon County Declared First #HurricaneStrong Community in the Nation at National Hurricane Conference
With Pilot Program, FLASH Designates Leon County as Leader in Building Disaster Resilience
At this week’s National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Leon County was designated as the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others.
With this national designation, Leon County becomes the nationwide prototype for disaster resilience and will continue to collaborate with FLASH throughout the 2018 hurricane season to advance resilience by establishing criteria for other local governments that leverage existing tools, programs, and metrics.
“This is big. It is a reflection of the tremendous emphasis we have placed on one of our most important responsibilities,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox. “Keeping our citizens safe and informed in the event of a hurricane and getting our community back to normal as quickly as possible afterwards has always been a top priority.”
#HurricaneStrong began as a public outreach campaign in 2016 and has drawn tens of thousands of leaders and citizens to events and reached millions more through traditional news and social media outreach. Through the campaign, FLASH reinforces five specific messages for citizens: personal safety, financial security, family preparedness, damage prevention, and community service.
Now in 2018, FLASH brings together representatives from academia, big data organizations, broadcast meteorology, FEMA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration insurance companies, and so many more, to declare Leon County as a model community to help establish a road map to becoming a disaster resilient community.
"For Leon County, being the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation highlights our focus on learning and improving from disaster, specifically the past two years following Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Irma," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "Every emergency gives us the knowledge and opportunity to build a more resilient community ahead of the next storm. And our County's partnership with FLASH will make us even stronger as we leverage national networks, best practices, and other resources."
To learn more about #HurricaneStrong’s individual and family preparedness actions, visit http://www.flash.org/hurricanestrong/ .
"We are honored to recognize Leon County today as we launch year three of the National Hurricane Resilience Initiative - #HurricaneStrong because when communities bounce back swiftly from disasters, they do so because of strong and committed local leaders who plan and act ahead of time,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “The Leon County Commission voted unanimously to make resilience a top priority, and they are role models for communities across the United States.”
For more information contact Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov .
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation including: BASF Corporation, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, National Weather Service, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, and USAA. In 2008, FLASH, and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes, in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, Facebook.com/federalalliance, and the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
About National Hurricane Conference
The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific. In addition, the conference serves as a national forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve Emergency Management.