Bracing for the coming storms

When you live in a vacation destination, it can sometimes be difficult to get excited about traveling to another vacation spot. That is one of the dilemmas for people living in Tampa, course, though many of our readers have undoubtedly packed up and traveled to enjoy the warm beaches of other locales.

One such spot is Destin in the Florida panhandle. The Emerald Coast locale is famous for its sparking sugar-white beaches, golf, fishing and more. A recent article in the area newspaper made it clear that officials and residents there must be prepared for storms that damage roofs, cause flooding, pull up trees and too often result in injuries and deaths.

Officials there recently ran through a hurricane training exercise, sharpening the skills of those visitors and residents alike will depend on in an emergency.

“We’re working on the requirements for a storm, preparing for the storm and then dealing with the aftermath of the storm during the exercise,” said the county’s chief of emergency management. Officials there prepare for evacuation of the local hospital, sending Coast Guard units to flooded areas, preparation of schools as shelters and more.

While they were dealing with a mock hurricane the other day, they know that one day — and no one knows when that day will arrive — the dire circumstances and people needs will be very real.

Officials said they keep the scenarios realistic during their annual drills, but that they mix in plenty of unexpected developments as the exercise progresses.

Just as state, county and city officials need to prepare for coming storms, homeowners and business owners do as well. One of the items on the preparedness lists should be becoming familiar with a Tampa attorney experienced in fighting for full compensation in insurance claim disputes.