WaterBrick attended the 2009 Governor’s Hurricane Conference hosted by Governor Charlie Crist in Ft. Lauderdale, FL May 10 – 15. The conference brought together a host of emergency managment personnel and providers of disaster relief service and product providers from throughout the United States. WaterBrick was one of the favorite products of the many on display with a local newspaper article being generated, as well as two local newstations providing coverage about the product.
The following outlines the theme of the 2009 Governor’s Hurricane Conference as explained by the Governor:
“Maintaining the Mission in the Winds of Change”
Last year’s Governor’s Hurricane Conference theme, “Maintaining the Vigil While Preparing for the Inevitable” reminded us of the difficulties we face in keeping our citizens aware and prepared to respond when there has been little recent tropical activity.
In August of 2008, Tropical Storm Fay caused an estimated $246 million in insured losses statewide, with another $250 million in costs to state and local governments in damages and for response and recovery operations. Fay’s impact resulted in 41 counties being declared for FEMA Public Assistance, as well as 27 counties declared for FEMA Individual Assistance.
While Fay may have reawakened our citizens to the necessity of keeping constant vigil, new forces may well impact our ability to serve our citizens in their greatest time of need. Our national economy is in recession which, when coupled with budget shortfalls at the state and local levels, could adversely affect our ability to respond when disaster strikes. Regardless, hurricanes will not go away because we have less money to prepare for them. This is why it is so important to make the best use of the funding that is available.
Training and education are essential to our ability to respond to hurricanes and must remain a priority within the constraints of lower budgets and the Governor’s Hurricane Conference is by far the most affordable venue available. For the sake of our citizens we must continue to move forward and maintain Florida’s position of having the foremost emergency response capability in the nation.
Our conference remains a premier event for the delivery of economical training and education to ensure our ability to adequately respond to, and recover from, tropical cyclones. This year training sessions and workshops will focus on innovative methods for “Maintaining the Mission in the Winds of Change.”