Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando officials test hurricane preparedness with annual drill

BROOKSVILLE — Hurricane Suiter, a Category 2 storm, blew into Hernando County on Wednesday.

If you didn't notice it, don't be alarmed. It was all just a drill.

Officials at the Hernando County Emergency Operations Center, along with representatives from several other local organizations, tackled the disaster during the annual hurricane preparedness exercise.

"We want to be prepared for what might come to our county," said Cecilia Patella, emergency management director at the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

In an operations room that rivals NASA in technological capacity, volunteers sat behind the glare of their computer screens in what the sheriff's public information officer, Sgt. Donna Black, described as a "well organized event."

The two-hour exercise was a dress rehearsal to prepare local authorities and emergency response groups for the recovery phase of a serious hurricane. Tactics and protocols were tested to ensure the effectiveness and productivity of each hurricane plan established by Hernando rescue teams.

"We do this event annually at the start of every hurricane season," Patella said.

Participation consisted of a joint effort from local fire departments, the Sheriff's Office and school district employees.

Each person had specific responsibilities for helping the community that involved testing a new software for emergency officials that would be used in future events.

Bill Kicklighter, director of information services for the Sheriff's Office, said catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina have helped prepare authorities in Hernando for worst-case scenarios. "We've learned a lot from those real-life events," Kicklighter said. "We want to make sure we do not make the same mistakes."

Ryan Strong can be reached at rstrong@sptimes.com and (352) 848-1432.

Hernando officials test hurricane preparedness with annual drill 06/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 6:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.