Lakeland PD recently sent our emergency managers to the Governor's Hurricane Conference as part of our preparations for hurricane season which begins June 1st. Lieutenants Mike Link, Steve Walker, and Anne-Marie Wendel attended the conference that featured presentations on Managing Emergency Operations Centers, Advanced Municipal Emergency Management, and Volunteer Administration. Workshops included Incident Management Teams, Emergency Strike Teams, and Emergency Management Funding Strategies.
In addition to the presentations, our emergency managers were able to network with their peers from other local jurisdictions and learn from their recent disasters. This allows Lakeland PD and the City of Lakeland to better coordinate our response in times of natural or man-made disasters.
It is not too early for community members to begin your hurricane preparations as well. One of the most important messages to come out of the Governor's Hurricane Conference is the need for citizens to be ready with supplies to support your family for 72 hours after a disaster occurs. Despite how well prepared we are to get assistance into the community after a storm, it takes time to set up relief stations, food distribution centers, etc. Everyone needs to make plans ahead of time to be self sufficient for three days or go somewhere with family or friends.
For a list of items each family should consider in preparing for hurricane season, you may visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management. The Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax holiday runs from June 1 through June 12, 2007. You can obtain a list of items available under the sale tax holiday from Florida DEM.
-Lt. Steve Walker