BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County will play a major role in this year’s statewide Hurricane Exercise, which will feature “Hurricane Lay” – a tropical cyclone event named in tribute to the late Brevard County Emergency Management Director Bob Lay.
The start of the 2013 hurricane season is less than a month away. Brevard County’s Office of Emergency Management has coordinated with the State of Florida for its annual hurricane exercise and will go into full-scale activation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 20, at the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge.
As part of the exercise, local emergency managers will monitor the progress of "Hurricane Lay" and respond to simulated impacts, obstacles and challenges that would face the Space Coast. Officials from various Brevard County government agencies, along with other area organizations, will respond to the Emergency Operations Center in Rockledge to participate in the drill and take appropriate actions that would be necessary in a real weather emergency. The daylong exercise is used to strengthen existing partnerships, familiarize those with new or added responsibilities and identify opportunities for improvement in planning, response and recovery efforts.
Lay, who died in January 2012 at the age of 69, served as director of Brevard County Emergency Operations for nearly 15 years and was known not only in Brevard County but also statewide and nationally as an emergency management expert. He led Brevard County through countless emergency situations including hurricanes and wildfires.
“I expect Hurricane Lay to be like its namesake: significant and strong, and change the lives of everyone it touches,” said Kimberly Prosser, Brevard County Emergency Management Director.
This hurricane exercise is not only the time for public and private sector agencies to coordinate, but residents should also use this time to prepare themselves. As hurricane season approaches, it’s recommended residents stock up with various storm supplies that includes fresh batteries, flashlights, food and water for 72 hours and a weather radio.
"I encourage every Brevard County resident to Make a Plan, Get a Kit and Stay Informed," Prosser said.
In addition to the full-scale EOC activation scheduled for May 20, there will also be a General Population Shelter Drill on May 17, a Pet-Friendly Shelter Drill on May 21, a Special Needs Shelter Drill on May 22, and a Point-of-Distribution drill on May 23.
Residents can stay informed this season by visiting www.embrevard.com, following @BrevardEOC on Twitter or via text messaging, or liking “Brevard County Emergency Management” on Facebook.
Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30.
Image: NASA satellite image of Hurricane Sandy.