'Tis the season to get a plan
With Home Depot's familiar orange-and-white logo as a backdrop, Gov. Charlie Crist noted the start of the six-month-long 2009 hurricane season Monday. With Crist were Dave Halstead, the interim No. 2 official in the state Division of Emergency Management; store manager Jeff Shaw; and Dave Chayer, a regional director of the American Red Cross.
Crist urged Floridians to take the usual precautions, such as having flashlights with fresh batteries and enough drinking water and non-perishable food to last for at least three days.
"We have learned in Florida that it's not just a hurricane that causes trouble," Crist said. "Tropical Storm Fay reminded all of us last year that it doesn't have to be a hurricane to be a devastating event: Fifteen of our fellow Floridians lost their lives." He directed people to two websites, www.floridadisaster.org and www.kidsgetaplan.com.
The governor noted last week's Mason Dixon poll that found an alarming level or apathy among people living in vulnerable coastal states, with 66 percent saying they have no hurricane survival kit and 62 percent saying they don't feel vulnerable to a hurricane, tornado or flood.