WEST PALM BEACH
News item: Gov.-elect Rick Scott appointed a Walmart executive to be in charge of Florida's Division of Emergency Management.
Bryan Koon, who had been handling emergency operations for Walmart, will now be in charge of running the Florida department that responds to natural and man-made disasters in the state.
Dear Fellow Floridians:
With hurricane season just a few months away, please be advised of some of the exciting changes you'll be seeing from your revamped and improved Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Our new motto says it all: "Save money. Prepare better."
In other words, we'll be saving money, so you ought to prepare better than you have in the past.
For starters, we recommend you stock up on those vital hurricane supplies early and often. Please see the attached list of the state's 174 authorized hurricane preparedness supercenter supply locations.
These supply centers will be clearly visible by the bright blue storefronts and white-lettered signs.
Sure, there may be other places that sell hurricane supplies in the state, but can they also sell you cheap firearms, a bottomless supply of summer sausage, and $4 DVDs for the kiddies?
As part of the new business approach to state government, our office will practice a balanced approach to emergency response that acknowledges both the human safety issues posed by an approaching storm and the short-term profits of the state's economic interests.
With that in mind, evacuation orders will be coordinated not only with the National Hurricane Center, but also with the various chambers of commerce.
In the unfortunate circumstance that a storm does hit the state, we will be coordinating the effort to provide assistance to the counties in the usual ways, and in some ways you might not be accustomed to.
The biggest change you'll see right away is the addition of greeters at all hurricane shelters. We believe this will provide a reassuring and folksy touch during an otherwise stressful time.
If you are interested in becoming a Florida hurricane shelter greeter, please contact our office. This is an excellent opportunity for older people living in trailer homes, because, let's face it, you'll be evacuated to the hurricane shelter anyway. So you might as well make a few bucks while you're there — and we do mean a few bucks. There's no need to be greedy during a time of misfortune to others.
Those who do require our services will discover that we've put together a devoted staff of low-wage, part-time workers who are fully versed in both emergency management operations and the disgraceful "time theft" problem among the working poor.
So when disaster strikes, you can count on our tireless staffers working to help you 24-7 to provide relief until their weekly hours get to 32, at which time our office will switch to an extremely cost-effective secondary response phase we call Operation Prayer.
Actually, it might not be a bad idea to start praying now.
In the meantime, our office will be busy coordinating emergency drills to prepare first responders for a variety of other potential disasters, including floods, nuclear spills and the formation of labor unions.
© 2010 New York Times News Service