Knowing the tremendous impact that just one hurricane making its way through Central Florida can have on residents, Osceola County employees and partners recently came together recently to hone their disaster response skills.

The annual hurricane exercise included review of personnel, systems, resources and software, as well as the latest forecast from the National Weather Service. After an overview of operations and disaster roles, participants worked as a team responding to the aftermath of “Hurricane Sorenson’s” landfall in Osceola County.

“I’m grateful that our team dedicates this time to train now so that our community is safe when an emergency threatens,” said Osceola County Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “It is so important that everyone here in our Emergency Operations Center is comfortable with the plans and systems that are in place. Working through realistic scenarios builds teamwork, strengthens communication and identifies areas where improvement may be needed, while creating solutions to potential real world problems.”

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and concludes Nov. 30.

“This type of annual training ensures that our team is better prepared individually and as a group to serve Osceola County residents,” said Emergency Management Director Bill Litton. “Every team has to train, and the exercise is one of the best tools we have to prepare for an actual threat to our community. With new many new employees joining the County, it is important to immerse them in the EOC so that they are comfortable when activated for a real risk.”

All residents should prepare for hurricane season by creating a family plan and disaster supply kit, securing personal property and having a place to go in the event of an evacuation. Learn more at www.floridadisaster.org

Finally, stay informed. For updates, continue monitoring weather reports or opt into phone alerts by texting 8-8-8-7-7-7 to “AlertOsceola.”

The county’s channels include: