PALATKA, Fla., Feb 5, 2024 — Despite ongoing recovery efforts from the previous year’s hurricane season, the St. Johns River and South Florida water management districts are already taking steps to ensure operational readiness and resilience for the upcoming 2024 hurricane season. Recognizing the critical need for collaboration and proactive measures, the St. Johns River Water Management District recently hosted a coordination meeting, bringing together representatives from South Florida Water Management District, city, county and state agencies.
The water management districts are committed to a year-round approach to regional coordination efforts, with a focus on enhancing communication with stakeholders, including the general public, who rely on the expertise of those involved for guidance and assistance before, during and after a storm.
“Preparing now will help streamline response efforts during these events,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Chief Resilience Officer Tom Frick. “Our focus is on improving communication with stakeholders, and the coordination meeting serves as a crucial platform for achieving this goal.”
The meeting addressed the challenges posed by recent hurricane seasons, particularly the historic rainfall Central Florida experienced due to Hurricane Ian in 2022. Attendees, including city and county officials, shared common goals of improving communication, identifying key contacts for disaster response and understanding the interconnected impact of their actions.
“Knowing who to call and how we implement our collective emergency management strategies allows us to better serve our partners and help our communities more quickly recover after a storm event,” said South Florida Water Management District Chief of District Resiliency Carolina Maran.
Partners are scheduled to reconvene in June to discuss emergency preparedness and response as well as update communication strategies to ensure consistency in messaging as the hurricane season approaches.
Residents are encouraged to play a role in protecting their local communities by following key measures before and during hurricane season, including keeping debris out of storm drains, reporting clogged ditches to their local governments, retrofitting buildings for watertightness, and obtaining flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
For more information on the St. Johns River Water Management District’s role in flood protection and storm preparedness and response, visit www.sjrwmd.com/storm.
For more information on the South Florida Water Management District’s role in flood protection, visit SFWMD.gov/FloodControl.