Coastal emergency teams prepared with improved technology to take on 2021 hurricane season

Emergency management directors say improved technology after the pandemic will help with hurricane season

Both Volusia and Flagler Counties' emergency management teams are coming off a busy year with COVID-19 and the vaccinations for it but there's several skills they learned logistically and for communications that they will carry over into hurricane season.
Both Volusia and Flagler Counties' emergency management teams are coming off a busy year with COVID-19 and the vaccinations for it but there's several skills they learned logistically and for communications that they will carry over into hurricane season.

Both Volusia and Flagler counties’ emergency management teams are coming off a busy year with COVID-19 and a massive vaccination campaign but there’s several skills they learned logistically and for communications that they will carry over into hurricane season.

“We actually have new equipment that will help break down disaster supplies and we actually have a new vehicle to help us distribute disaster supplies,” said Jonathan Lord, Flagler County’s emergency management director.

Lord said Flagler has more community groups ready to get supplies out faster and with stronger online tools, Flagler and Volusia can both quickly send emergency alerts.

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“We actually staff up and wind up with well over 100 people of county employees and volunteers that come into our emergency operations center,” said Lord.

Evacuation routes and zoning maps are on each of the county’s websites on the emergency management page.

“We determine how the hurricanes will interact with the land, in other words, how far the storm surge will come onto the land,” said Helena Wetherington, Volusia’s emergency management director.

The improved AlertFlagler system can give status updates on your exact location, you can sign up on the county’s website.

Volusia’s Code Red alerts can do the same and Volusia also has an emergency management app for your phone.

“We have not made significant changes to either evacuation zones or evacuation routes or our shelters,” she said.


About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.