ORLANDO, Fla., March 28, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.
FEMA, FLASH, and NOAA serve as the #HurricaneStrong Presenting Partners, and The Weather Channel serves as the National Media Partner. Cummins, State Farm, and USAA will be recognized for their generous support as the 2018 National Sponsors.
Last year, the campaign helped increase public safety and reduce economic losses from hurricanes by reaching tens of millions of residents in hurricane-exposed states with five key messages, including:
- Personal Safety - Know your evacuation zone
- Family Preparedness - Build a disaster supply kit
- Financial Security - Have an insurance checkup
- Damage Prevention - Strengthen your home
- Community Service - Help your neighbor
The partners will be on-hand throughout the week hosting Facebook live events, providing interviews, participating on panels, and joining Legacy Partners BASF and FEMA to exhibit on Resilience Row.
The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. The FLASH partnership includes more than 100 innovative and diverse organizations that share a vision of making America a more disaster-resilient nation including: BASF Corporation, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot, Huber Engineered Woods, International Code Council, National Weather Service, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, and USAA. In 2008, FLASH, and Disney opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes, in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and access free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org, calling toll-free (877) 221- SAFE (7233), following @federalalliance on Twitter, Facebook.com/federalalliance, and the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
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SOURCE Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)