Florida Division of Emergency Management Runs Hurricane Simulation

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-20 16:58:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- Several state, local, and federal organizations were working together to simulate a natural disaster. Make that two natural disasters, both hurricanes. The simulation takes a look at what would happen if they struck within days each other impacting the entire state of Florida.

Amy Godsey, Chief State Meteorologist with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) spoke of the importance of the simulation. "Well it is important to make sure that our team can handle a double strike, even if its two major hurricanes or even if it is a lesser and a major hurricane", said Godsey, "It's still going to stretch our resources pretty thin and we want to make sure the team is able to handle two landfalls."

Both of the simulated storms are based on past hurricanes: Opal in 1995 and the 1928 Lake Okeechobee hurricane. "The exercise started Tuesday morning, and we actually started it with the hurricane already making landfall", said FDEM director Bryan Koon. "We don't reset every day. We continue moving along as the situation progresses."

In addition to this week's simulated hurricanes the FDEM is concerned about tropical storms as well. "If anybody remembers Fay and Debbie, it doesn't have to be a hurricane to have major impacts," said Godsey. Which is why the FDEM does the simulations to make sure as many agencies are ready for any disaster.