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Leon County First ‘Hurricane Strong’ Community In Nation

A home hit by a large tree during hurricane hermine
Regan McCarthy WFSU News

Leon County is a pilot community for a new Hurricane Strong Program that’s a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. County spokesman Mathieu Cavell says the program is focused on community resilience. He says Leon County is an ideal place for the pilot because of its commitment to learning.

We’re NOT hurricane strong because we know all the answers, but we have put together over the past two years some very complex after action reports that had findings and recommendations—more than 150 recommendations of ways to improve and when FEMA saw that, FEMA said that’s a local community that takes a chance in every disaster to be better for the next one,” Cavell says.

Cavell says as part of the pilot Leon County will be working with FEMA and FLASH to create best practices and to foster partnerships with other organizations and businesses that could help communities during a disaster.

“What we get out of it is strengthening out partnerships here and at the state. But then in addition it allows us to build stronger partnerships at that national level as well. And then we can request from big box retailers certain things, we can be made aware of grant opportunities to assist our local community here whether that’s at the national FEMA level or that’s with other retailers,” Cavell says.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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