SARASOTA (WWSB) - Today is officially the last day of hurricane season.
We had a few scares, but dodged some major storms but, just because the season is over doesn’t mean work stops for the team at the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center.
Now that the 2018 season is coming to a close, work begins for next season.
Emergency Management Operations Chief Ed McCrane tells us EOC workers are already planning exercises and drills to prepare for the next season..
McCrane tells us typically they do one big drill every year before hurricane season, but this year they’ll be doing an entire week of drills.
They’ll be going over everything from shelter operations to medical dependent shelters, to their transportation plan which was implemented after Hurricane Irma.
McCrane says all hands will be on deck during these drills.
“We’ll exercise both the day and the night shift in the Multi Agency Coordination Center, we’ll go through an exercise for pre-storm preparedness and recovery. We’ve got a lot on the plate there. We’re also updating the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan which will be due to the State in the Spring and go in front of our board for approval. So there’s a lot on the plate to continue to be prepared”, says McCrane.
McCrane says they will also be tweaking the drills, to include lessons learned from Hurricanes Michael and Florence.
Right after those hurricanes, crews from the Suncoast helped the hard hit areas in South Carolina and the Panhandle.
McCrane says one thing they learned from those deployments, are to make sure shelter locations aren’t in areas that will have to be evacuated due to flooding and consider temporary housing in school gyms.