Irma “the Goddess of War”, luckily she was not as strong as we anticipated, but she did do plenty of damage. As an elected official for a city of 38,000 plus residents these are the times we look to our Emergency Coordinator and our professional staff. As mayor, I along with the city manager declare an emergency but the process begins way before.
Just like residents and businesses prepare our entire city must be prepared. That means every facility and all infrastructure must be secured. We also must make sure all construction sites are secured. This takes every department and their directors’ leader.
Once a warning is posted we work the plan. The city manager meets with all staff directors for briefings. The Emergency Operation Center is activated. Our Fire Chief Mark Ellis is the EOC head and key contact. This year our city was working on communications thru many avenues code red, Facebook, email alerts. These are great but not one hundred present once internet goes down. I keep pushing information though Facebook.
I would like to know more about how our readers received their information and what you thought was best. Our city manager requested and I agreed that messages had to remain consistent. So, keeping with the critical nature of information I and other elected officials sent out the generated updates by our city manager, our staff or Broward County.
Our staff was working around the clock and are still is in recovery mode. We really dodged a bullet. The biggest complaint that I have received has been about electric. To put matters in perspective during Andrew 1.5 million lost power, this storm effected 6.5 million. The storm hit on Saturday and by Tuesday over half the city had power. City Hall and other critical sites on Tuesday still did not have power. We are lucky to have generators on site at many of our facilities. I know if you did not have power you were still frustrated. During Wilma, our city was without power for eight days, hopefully your power is on if it is not please call me or FPL.
I wanted to publicly to thank all our employees, every single person is part of a great team. City Manager Roger Carlton made sure everything was covered, we are lucky to have our own staff. Many cities do not have staff but depend of contracted services. Our Fire has been working the EOC. Police staff out and about manning intersections DPW insuring our water and sewer is functioning. Some special thanks go out to our DPW workers that repaired a water main break on Saturday during the storm. Without it many would be without water.
During the storm, there was a miss communication due to the water break. It resulted in the county announcing a full boiled water alert. Our city is not on boiled water alert it was only for specific addresses in Three Islands. This is why it is important to stay turned to or city information.
Now that we are in the clear of the storm and in recovery mode please take time and sign up for our city alerts. This will keep you updated on the most current information. You can also like the city Facebook site. Please follow me as well!
When you see our city staff out and about give them a huge thank you!!
As always please feel free to con- tact me anytime with your questions concerns and ideas at 954-457-1318 office, cell/text at 954-632-5700 or email me a firstname.lastname@example.org.