Hurrican Shutters

Installing "Peace of Mind"

2012 Hurricane Season begins June 1st!

Posted by cat5shuttersllc on May 15, 2012

2012 Hurricane Season begins June 1st!The 2012 Hurricane season begins June first. One federal government agency that will be on call to respond in case a major storm or some other natural disaster hits the mainland is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA. Craig Fugate has been the agency administrator since May, 2009. spoke with Mr. Fugate on a variety of issues including how FEMA responds to disasters, Homeland Security, the role of Social Media and what citizens can and must do to protect themselves and their property in case of a natural disaster.

CAT 5 Hurricane Shutters is located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County. We design, manufacture and install hurricane shutters according to the 2010 FL bldg. codes. We are licensed CGC # 1517869.
We service Palm Beach County, Broward County as well as the upper and middle Florida Keys in Florida. We are licensed and insured. CGC# 157869.

We service Palm Beach County, includes cities such as Atlantic, Boca Raton, DelRay Beach, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Hypoluxo, Jupiter, Lake Clarke Shore, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Lantana, North Palm beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach and Wellington. In Broward County we have worked in cities such as City of Coral Springs, City of Deerfield Beach, City of North Lauderdale, Lauderdale by the Sea, North Lauderdale, Lighthouse Pointe, Miramar, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Plantation, as well as the upper and middle Florida Keys in Florida. We are licensed and insured.
Contact us for a free estimate at (561) 333-2285 or

What are the main challenges facing FEMA today?
People need to be prepared. The biggest challenge in any disaster is the tendency for people to think that somebody else is coming to rescue them when the reality is time and time again we see the closest rescuers are your neighbors. So people who don’t prepare, don’t get ready and aren’t able to help each other, that’s probably our biggest challenge. As we continue to deal with all of the issues we face in government, I think it always comes back to people need to understand they are part of the team and they have a role and we’re going to focus on our job. But we won’t be successful if the public isn’t prepared.

What is the biggest misconception people have about what FEMA does or doesn’t do?
I think one is they think FEMA responds to all disasters and that we always provide assistance. The answer is “no.” FEMA was designed in those programs to provide assistance at a very high level that the President would declare when it has clearly exceeded the states capabilities. You may have disasters side by side in various states and some will be declared and some aren’t and people will ask “Why didn’t my state get declared?” It is always based upon did it exceed the capability of the state. And so, sometimes I think what has happened is, people think that declaration from the President validates that it is bad. We’re going — we should never put anybody in a situation where their home or loss of life is anything but horrible. That is not to be confused with did it exceed the state’s capability.

The National Preparedness Report came out last week. What are some of the key findings as they relate to events like Hurricane Katrina?
I think we’ve seen across the country we’ve built a lot more capability in the response phase of search and rescue, communications, a lot more capability in those initial impacts. But we also recognized that some of the new emerging threats are still areas we need to work on such as cyber threats and how that really impacts local and state governments and what they need to be doing to prepare against that threat.

Does FEMA repair storm damage?
How does FEMA determine when to step in and respond to a natural disaster?
Decisions are always based upon a request from the governor to the President requesting assistance. But we also learned from Katrina that when it is bad, we don’t necessarily have to wait until the assessments are done. So we’ll use information, sometimes we’ll even use Social Media to make decisions about getting ready and moving things closer to the state. But assistance is always under the leadership of the governor and it’s at the request of the governor that the President determines whether or not it warrants that assistance.

You mentioned Social Media. It was around at the time of Hurricane Katrina. How has that phenomenon helped change what FEMA does?
I think for government this has been a real challenge. We’ve been real good at broadcasting information out. But we’ve never been really good at understanding how the public took that information, whether they used it nor did we do a good job of listening to people. I think Social Media has a dynamic there that is something that we have to learn how to do a better. That is, we say we want you to do this as action is occurring, but then we can watch people as they communicate back to us and go, “Well, maybe we didn’t do a good job here or maybe they didn’t understand” and we need to re-emphasize that.
But the other thing is, listen to what people are telling us. Often times they are the best information coming out of a disaster area, well before any official reports come up. And even though you may have the rogue person out there putting our bad information, the general assumption that we find that holds true, if you are crowd-sourcing information the truth will become known and often times the public knows better what is going on in the first hours of an event that even the official channels.

Can you cite an example where Social Media helped FEMA?
I think probably a real good case study of just one example is Joplin (Missouri). We were tracking that day. We knew we had severe weather outbreak potential. But when the original reports started coming up out of Joplin the Social Media side was much more active, because again it is natural. Local responders are still responding to the initial impact. They don’t necessarily have time to say and quantify, “How bad this is.”
And so those initial reports, balanced against the reports of the tornado really started painting a picture that this was much bigger than you would have assumed because the state had yet to request assistance; they were still responding. So well before this governor (put name here) was putting in a formal request we had already begun moving assistance that way. And again, you are talking about maybe only hours, but that is critical in these types of events to get there as quickly as we can.

Hurricane season is almost here (June 1). What can people do to better protect themselves and their property before disaster of this or any kind of disaster strikes home?
Know the risk and then take steps to make sure they got the insurance to cover those risks and again, a home owner’s policy does not provide flood protection. That is a separate policy you have to buy. The number one we hear from people is “I was told I didn’t need flood insurance or I didn’t live in the flood zone.” You weren’t in an area that required mandatory purchase. That does not mean you won’t flood and without a flood insurance policy your home owner’s (policy) won’t cover and I’ve seen people totally wiped out with three or four feet of water in their home, they didn’t have flood insurance.

The next step is look at how your home is designed and built and (ask yourself) “Are there things that I can do to make it better, particularly (against) wind and other hazards.

The last thing is, the next time there’s a hurricane, don’t get out your tape and tape your windows. It is one of the biggest myths. Short of shutters or doing heavy-duty plywood going up all tape is going to do is make a mess and give you a false sense of security and that adds to the problem. People think that will protect the glass against the wind. How well is that going to protect against that trash can flying at 70 mph hitting that? Don’t tape your windows, shutter or board up. Don’t tape, it’s not going to save anything and it’s probably going to be a waste of your time.

Distributed by Viestly


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: