In front of an international audience of hurricane preparedness experts, Charlotte County Emergency Management director Wayne Sallade was recognized at the National Hurricane Conference with the Outstanding Achievement Award in Public Service. The award was given in recognition of a program Sallade implemented to increase public awareness of evacuation zones.
In allCharlotteCountythe evacuation zones for level A, B, C and D are now identified by colored markers attached to stop signs with different colors for each zone level.
Sallade said “I wanted to be sure every one of my residents knew what zone they lived in. I said we do this program or you find another manager”. Sallade said that there was some resistance to identifying hurricane susceptible areas at first. To enlist support he spoke to the Association of Women Realtors and other community groups emphasizing the importance of the program for public safety.
The program required no money from the local budget using instead a federal grant for 37,500.00 dollars to cover the entire cost, High schools students volunteered to supply the work force needed to attach the colored markers to the stop signs and were later acknowledged for their service.
It is generally recognized that knowing if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone is one of the first steps in developing your personal response plan for your family.