Emergency Responders Take on Hurricane Simulation

Jun 8, 2017

Tallahassee and Leon County emergency personnel went head-to-head with a major hurricane called “Danica” Thursday (6/8). The purpose of the exercise was to put some of the lessons learned during last year’s Hurricane Hermine to the test.

The various response teams at Leon County's Public Safety Complex working through the make-believe disaster.
Credit Tom Flanigan

National Weather Service Meteorologist Kelly Godsey appeared on giant TV screens at the Leon County Public Safety Complex on Easterwood Drive, describing a new Gulf storm named “Danica”…

“Now the latest computer models as we look at Danica….” Godsey began, indicating computer images of several projected storm tracks.

In moments, the storm would grow to a powerful hurricane and draw a bead on Tallahassee.

“As the potential for a large and dangerous category three storm….” Godsey broke in, advising those in the simulated hurricane path to seek shelter.

County Emergency Management Director Kevin Peters said the realistic exercise involved nearly 100 disaster responders at the complex’s control center.

“We’re testing a very intense situation, much more intense than anything we’ve seen in this area of Florida in many years. It’s provoking a lot of thought and we’re going to capture a lot of good information. I think we’ll find some new lessons learned,” Peters said.

Thursday’s hurricane scenario included massive power outages, widespread flooding and thousands of downed trees, destroying homes and disrupting travel.