Lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew

'Start early, be prepared,' Volusia County emergency coordinator says


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Volusia County emergency coordinator Tom Cruise rode out Hurricane Matthew in the county's new emergency operations center.

His building passed the test, but Cisco told News 6 his team had some learning to do afterward.

"There was a lot of inexperience, there was a lot of training that need(ed) to be done and there was some on-the-job training we did in the morning," Cisco said.

The biggest lesson from Hurricane Matthew: be prepared early.

"Don't let it sneak up on us. Make decisions," Cisco said.

After Hurricane Matthew, Volusia County alone had 3 million cubic yards of debris. That included a lot of wood and vegetation, and many residents weren't happy with the speed of the cleanup, which went on for two months, Cisco said.

One big reason it took that long, Cisco said, was the size of the storm.

"This storm was so big and affected so many counties that all these companies that do that...were spread thin," Cisco said.

Cisco reminds us that the outcome of Hurricane Matthew could have been much worse.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, or FLASH, headed up by Leslie Chapman-Henderson, said residents should make sure they have a few things in place: cash, prescription medications and a vehicle filled up with gas.

News 6 wants to make sure you are prepared and we have a checklist of all the supplies that you need to be prepared before, during and after a storm.