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Here’s The Scoop…1 Down…1 To Go…Town Of LBTS Sponsored Hurricane Seminar…The Evacuated Hall!…

LACK OF PREPARATION….PUTS A CLOUD OVER YET ANOTHER LBTS EVENT…

At the 6/9/09 Commission meeting during public comments,  this writer spoke once again about these seminars and workshops on hurricane preparedness…..presented by the Town…(yesterday)…an organization such as the POA…the Chamber doing theirs on June 17th (8am…Jarvis Hall…prev.post… places to go cat. )….the County does one annually…..along with inserts found at the beginning of June every year in every newspaper…and specials on all 4 local channels…along with public safety organizations putting out pamphlets  and other materials….all providing the public with the very same information…

Yesterday there was 2 residents in attendance…this writer and Editor of the By The Sea Future,  Mark Brown…Town staff and Mayor Minnet….everyone else was there to speak!…Including …Rusty Pfost from the Nat. Weather Service…BSO Lt. Cedeno….FLOC Wayne Anderson/Jim McGinn….VFD Chief Perkins….and AMR Chief Liddle…No sufficient advance notice was given out …no attempt to advertise in the Future paper…no “joining’ of forces with the Chamber to combine the two events!..Another slight to business!…Shameful!…

The Town Manager should have been embarrassed once more…( Is she capable of feeling embarrassed?)… As she should have been with the ISO Community Outreach Program and the Broward Transit Forum to name a few….Although unlike the others this one did have the doors unlocked…the Powerpoint ready to go…coffee and treats…handout bags and pamphlets ….and it was  televised!…

This writer heard Manager Colon lamely remark to the Mayor it was being watched at home…still a shame…no matter how you try to “whitewash it”…and an ongoing pattern of poor performance when it comes to Jarvis Hall meetings!…

First up was Rusty Pfost the Meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service…who spoke of their “mission” …protection of life and property…He presented a powerpoint presentation that included charts …maps and historical data and photos of what has come our way …He spoke of the averages and what we can expect…changes this year…no more “skinny black line” will be for tracking the storms…..and the cone of uncertainty will be used…He said to “maintain sanity” watch for updates 5-10 minutes an hour…Watches and warning will change in time in 2010..2009 watch is 36 hrs.-2010 will be 48 hrs/ 2009 warning is 24 hrs- 2010 will be 36 hrs…He recommended the links below….

http://www.fldisaster.org/

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/

Next up was BSO Lt. Angelo Cedeno who took the the podium to tell the residents he was there to “get residents up to speed”…speaking of the factors to keep in mind …be prepared…have a plan of action…as he explained that the Sheriff’s office operates under the County and that the BSO will work “hand in hand” with the VFD…He went through some tips for securing vital documents…food and supplies for the aftermath…evacuation which would be west on Commercial Blvd…and special needs shelters…He gave out the phone number to register for those..954-537-2888….He explained that the BSO has pamphlets and brochures  for further information and went on to speak about generators and safety measures for using them…He assured all that the Sheriff’s office would only be off while the storm is deemed unsafe …He said “We do a great job, we’ve got great people that partake in these events. Fire is key, law enforcement is key, keeping the peace after the storm. When you’re out there and you’re doing it, and you see it for yourself, it’s impressive and I hope that the residents of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea have full confidence in the Sheriff’s office to get through, prepare you and answer any questions regarding any concerns during a hurricane.”…A few questions were addressed such as re-entry after the event…once it is safe we will be allowed back…and I.D. shown will help protect from looters and those who do not have a reason to be in town…He was asked by the Mayor about “door hangers” that are used in other municipalities to show if some one is safe or in need of assistance in their home… BSO Sgt. Brown came to the podium to say it was an idea that had been addressed in the past, but the concern was it would encourage people to stay…Lt. Cedeno said some kind of tag system could be used by the BSO to show a property had been checked out in the aftermath…He also addressed the term “mandatory” evacuation and that it could not be enforced …and again said the “BSO will go above and beyond to keep the residents safe”…”We will get everybody back to civilization as fast as possible. A lot of manpower , boots on the ground”, they take “provide in serving the community.”…

The Florida League of Cities came as they did last year….Wayne Anderson and Jim McGinn…..also spoke of evacuating…extended the amount of days for food and water from 3-5 days to 7 days…spoke of plans…a checklist…and the new way of thinking…not to evacuate far distances…due to “packed roads” but west of 95…Wayne addressed securing of your property …speaking of the roof, gutters…outdoor furniture…and generators…Jim spoke of insurance…wind and flood…being a high risk area…the fallout of that…and what to do after an event…with policies…mold…and alternative living quarters…

ATVs WILL SAVE THE DAY!….and jet skis……the fireboat…and the trucks

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VFD Chief Perkins…”Good Morning, thank you for inviting me. What everybody said was just you can’t emphasize enough on preparing for the storm. I happened to be here in 04 and 05 when the storms hit and life was miserable on this island to say the least.What I’m going to tell you today is about the fire department and what role it plays in evacuation and working side by side with the police. Um, as of today we’re up to 65 members (5 added this month). Um, ah, our main role here is to protect the town and be as safe as possible, protect our citizens. This year ah, we have more equipment thanks to our great government we have in this town. Our commission they’ve allowed us to have jet skis and ATVs. a fire boat and we have four trucks which will play a major role in evacuating this town. The ATVs will probably play a dual role as far as protecting the beach. We’re probably turn them into um, vehicles that will travel around the town would have chain saws, medical bags, everything we need to help our citizens. So those ATVs are going to play a huge role and from what I understand at 65 miles per hour if the wind is sustained ah, because the town owns all our equipment we have to think of the equipment first and we have to leave the island and take the equipment off and stage at Holy Cross. That’s where we’ll be bringing our trucks and that’s if the winds are over 65 miles per hour, we have to leave the island and the fire department will not be here. But we will come back when we’re told and we will start um, searching the island for victims or people, people in distress, people in trouble. We’ll drive around in the trucks, the ATVs, the pickup truck looking for victims, for people to help. Because I remember in 05, in 04 we did a lot of downed powerlines, um, we cut a lot of trees were down down we had to cut them up ah, remove them them from roadways. So there’s a lot of work for the fire department getting back on this island,And again, my advise  again life is miserable on this island. There’s no air conditioning , there’s no electricity, no food um, and it’s just not, it’s very hot. You got no air in your house. I slept in my car for two days. I didn’t have any air, but we were on twelve hour shifts, the fire department. As the storm approaches we will have the fire department will be manned by 24 hours a day. We will have at least 12 men here doing 12 hour shifts. And then once we evacuate we’ll come back or, and continue to do the same thing until the island is safe and everybody is accounted for. Again, this year we have a lot more equipment so hopefully we’ll be able to do a lot more rescues as far as the ocean and we’re surrounded by water. We do have a lot of boats and during hurricane season we have pets in the canals and I’ll give you some of the , we’ve had in 05 and 06 and when the hurricanes hit we just got grazed with. We were very lucky, a direct hit on this island would be devastating. But we glanced a couple of times and it was pretty bad. Things were pretty rough here. So we do have a fire boat this time, we’ll be going up and down the canals and in the ocean. We had a problem with surfers remember the police had a problem with surfers and they do jump the canals when the bridges are up and swim across with their surf boards and they run out to the ocean and then we gotta chase them down. So, um, manpower for the police is really stretched to the limit and definitely we have enough guys where hopefully we’ll be able to assist them in any way we can. We have a hurricane trailer. We’ve been preparing for several months now. The trailer will be equipped with chain saws, generators, ah, everything that the fire department will need to sustain for at least three weeks and they’ll be extra supplies as medical supplies and extra band-aids and gauze pads and medical bags. We’re pretty much um, we’re getting ourselves ready cause hurricane season is no joke and if you’ve ever been been here you know what it’s like. It’s ah, it’s not a pretty sight. We had a storm run through here ah, we had to have a firetruck at the gas station cause at night time all you hear is generators , it’s unbelievable it’s generators everywhere and we’ve had lines at the gas station. We’ve had fights. People coming up with plastic containers wanting to fill it up with gas. It’s not allowed. Everything has to be NFPA approved to put gas in. So if you do come to a gas station where there’s a big line and you’re trying to fill your generator we won’t give you gas in your milk bottle, milk container, it has to be a NFPA gasoline container. Ah, we had a serious problem at the gas station. This year hopefully they have a generator and they’ll stay open. But, they were closed for three or four days and then when they opened everybody just rushed to the gas station. We had to stay there overnight to make sure everything was alright at the gas station. We have no hospitals in town, um, I remember dozens of buses coming down unloading people from he condos, the older folks. The higher are you up in your condo the more stronger the winds are so we do ask you to kinda come down to the ground. Um, each individual building i assume has their own evacuation plans as far as buses go, but I do remember dozens of buses taking the elderly out of the condos. Um, again we have a lot more resources this year, the commission has given us a lot of tools to work with. Ah, again I think the ah, the ATVs are going to play a big role in this hurricane. Again, we’ll be evacuating to Holy Cross Hospital when the winds reach 65 miles an hour sustained. We will be off the island. So if you want to stay, good luck to you. But we won’t be here to help you. And if you call us we won’t be able to come  because we won’t be here. Um, let’s see does anyone have any questions? Again, my main role as Fire Chief is to protect this town and its citizens and with the equipment we have this year I think we’ll be able to do a fine job. 04 and 05 were kind of a practice run for me because I was here. So we kind of know what to do, what not to do. If anybody doesn’t have any questions? Ok, Thank you very much and I wish everybody luck this year.”…

We took a break…and waited for the final speaker…

AMR Chief Brooke Liddle…also spoke of preparedness…medical conditions and concerns…He said they had hand-out packets…and also had a list of townspeople with special needs …He spoke of those on oxygen…..kidney dialysis and where they should be evacuated to…He added ways for those in need to be assisted to the shelters ….He said they too would be stationed here with additional personnel as required …if they encounter sustained wind speed (65 mph) they too would be at Holy Cross Hospital until it is all clear for them to return to the town…

The Mayor thanked all those who came to participate…including the Town Manager…and reiterated the “theme” of this seminar …preparedness…

link to the video on the Town’s site….http://lbts.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=229

The end…..

more to come….

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