As the City grows, so does the likelihood of a major disaster occurring. Events such as hurricanes may occur less often than other emergencies, but their results are far more significant on the community due to our growth in population and development. The public has come to expect a high level of service in our community and will demand effective leadership and response if a disaster occurs.
The City’s Post Disaster Management Plan (PLAN) was developed to cope with the consequences of such an emergency and outline how the recovery period will be handled.
An unusual emergency, such as a hurricane, will place extraordinary demands on services at a time when resources may be at their lowest. City resources will likely be stretched to their limits and not able to meet ALL demands immediately after the storm.
As such, the City has set priorities to deal with limited resources. Once the “all clear” signal has been given by the National Hurricane Center and the City’s Recovery Coordinator, City staff will canvas the City and do a complete damage assessment. At that point, the City has established priorities to deal with the recovery period in a way that will maintain public safety, make every effort to decrease the time residents are inconvenienced, and restore normalcy to the community. The priorities are:
- Stabilize the community by providing essential public safety and health-related services.
- Provide basics necessities such as food, water, sanitation, shelter and clothing.
- Restore road network and utilities.
- Provide public information.
- Research and identify residual hazards.
- Resume routine government operations.
- Restoration of public property and assistance in restoring private property.
- Improve future City emergency and recovery response capabilities.
- The City’s Public Works Department is in charge of debris removal, and has a specific process in place based on priorities set forth in the City’s Post Disaster Emergency Plan. For more information, visit their Debris Removal Emergency Response page.
- Insurance representatives will be on the scene immediately following a major disaster to speed up the handling of claims. Notify your insurance agent or broker of any losses and leave word where you can be contacted. In very difficult circumstances, the Florida Department of Financial Services will arrange for an “Insurance City” to be set up to help policy holders contact their insurance companies and expedite the filing of claims. For information, call 800-342-2762.
- Take steps to protect your property. Make temporary repairs to protect property from further damage or looting.
- Use only reputable contractors and keep all receipts for materials used. Use this handy checklist to help you hire only licensed, qualified contractors. If you need to check the status of a contractor, or you need to file a complaint, call the Broward County Examining Board at 954-765-4400, or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 954-917-1333.
- Generators are useful when temporary or remote power is needed, but extreme caution must be used when operating them. More injuries and deaths have occurred from improper use of a generator, than from the storms themselves. Heed several important safety tips.