Today, the FLASH Partnership named Leon County as the first #HurricaneStrong community in the United States. The nonprofit chose the North Florida county for the designation based on high performing ISO Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) scores as well as excellence in public awareness programs, business community outreach, achievement of the NOAA StormReady® Community designation, and overall leadership engagement.
The announcement took place at the National Hurricane Conference during a “Resilience Rally” that brought together disaster safety leaders and conference attendees with a message of unity and support to communities who are recovering from the 2017 storms.
"We are honored to recognize Leon County today as we launch year three of the National Hurricane Resilience Initiative - #HurricaneStrong because when communities bounce back swiftly from disasters, they do so because of strong and committed local leaders who plan and act ahead of time,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “The Leon County Commission voted unanimously to make resilience a top priority, and they are role models for communities across the United States.”
"For Leon County, being the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation highlights our focus on learning and improving from disaster, specifically the past two years following Hurricane Hermine and Hurricane Irma," said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. "Every emergency gives us the knowledge and opportunity to build a more resilient community ahead of the next storm. And our County's partnership with FLASH will make us even stronger as we leverage national networks, best practices, and other resources."
During the rally, FLASH described new additions to the initiative and announced the expansion of #HurricaneStrong with Spanish language educational resources and materials.
“We want to remind the citizens of Puerto Rico that we remain committed to their recovery and simultaneously support readiness and resilience for the season ahead," Chapman-Henderson added.
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