|Hurricane Season -
The Time to Prepare is Now
We live in a wonderland
of wind and water. These elements give us one of the most
desirable climates in the world. But, sometimes the climate
gets ugly and dangerous.
Last month was the official start of hurricane season.
Because we are so susceptible to tropical storms, its
important that all of us, as residents of Miami-Dade County
Many things have changed since Hurricane Andrew. Our ability
to predict hurricanes is far ahead of what it was then.
Weve changed the way we build our homes, and we changed the
way we combat flooding.
This is the time when tropical depressions begin to churn
off the West Coast of Africa. Should they reach our
community, I want you to know that our state-of-the-art
Emergency Operations Center is ready for the winds and
floods that hurricanes bring.
Over the next weeks and months, information on how to
safeguard lives, homes and possessions will be carried on
television and radio
in print media
on the Internet
and on videos. All in English, Spanish and Creole.
These messages will encourage you to create your own
hurricane preparation plan and rehearse it with your
The plan should include such steps as:
- Protect windows and doors.
- Store plenty of water.
- Fill your cars gas tank, and withdraw cash - gas pumps
and ATMs may be down.
- Make sure your car and boat are safe.
- Check all emergency equipment - flashlights, batteries,
- If you live in an evacuation zone, decide where you will
- Make provision for pets; they are not allowed in
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is for
special needs residents who may require assistance
evacuating to register with our Emergency Evacuation
Assistance Program now.
But while a tropical storm is whipping through our town,
often the accompanying tropical rainfall causes more damage
than the wind.
Let me use this opportunity to tell you what we are doing
about flooding since Hurricane Irene and the now infamous
No-Name storm caused such damage in our community.
Thanks to an unprecedented partnership between the County,
the State and the Federal government, we have begun the most
aggressive flood mitigation program in the history of
The campaign will benefit the entire County, but mostly such
hard-hit communities as Sweetwater, Flagami, West Miami and
parts of Unincorporated Miami-Dade County as well as North
Miami, hit hard by Mays record rainfall.
To solve this, we have installed and are installing
forward pumps in our primary canals that carry floodwater
into the Bay. These pumps are so powerful that they can move
about 10 billion gallons of water a day.
In addition, we are dredging 74 secondary canals and
cleaning out 100,000 catch basins and storm drains.
The cost of this flood mitigation program will be nearly $1
billion, but considering the terrible damage that floods
cause in property and lives, it is well worth the
But, let me be clear. We have not solved the problem of
flooding we are only addressing it. No program however
aggressive can totally prevent flooding. A torrential
downpour such as what Broward experienced at the end of May
will overcome any preventive measure. But, compared to what
happened just a few years ago, we are light years ahead.
We should all take great pride in the progress that we as a
County have made in fighting hurricanes and floods.
I ask everyone to start now to safeguard your homes and your
families so we are all prepared to deal with the challenges
Miami-Dade County Mayor