County Commissioner promises action against the Venice leaders for opening up the VCC as a shelter and endangering 400 residents

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County Commissioner promises action against the Venice leaders for opening up the VCC as a shelter and endangering 400 residents

 

From: “Charles D. Hines” <chines@scgov.net>
Date: September 15, 2017 at 9:34:20 AM EDT
Subject: Post Irma review
Gentlemen: As part of the review of our Post-Irma emergency management systems, protocols, command and control and inter-local- agreements please be sure that the review of the opening of the VCC by the City of Venice, in disregard and against the recommendations of our Emergency Management Director is reviewed in light of Florida Law and State emergency management powers.
This is very important for the next emergency event so that all of our municipalities/schools/the Sherriff/Police Chiefs, are on the same page on how decisions will be made and who has the final say on which shelters will be opened and which ones will not. Then, should a municipality chose to ignore that position, please make it clear what the next step by the County will be………deferring to a City and leaving people in a questionable building I hope is not the answer. I understand we want to promote inter-governmental cooperation, but laws, such as F.S. 252.38, are in place, so that when emergencies happen, potentially unqualified, untrained, well-meaning people are not directing and giving orders about what to do or not do, where to go or what buildings are safe, etc.  
The more I think about what happened, and even worse what could have happened by allowing 400 people into a building that is only rated for category 3 winds, that is very close to the Gulf, when Irma was a strong 4 and potentially increasing to a 5, with accompanying significate storm surge, (should it had continued on its then projected path), was irresponsible and put the lives of our citizens at risk. This should have only been allowed or even considered if there were no other alternatives. In this situation we know that was not the case, as there where many open shelter spaces in safer, better designed locations throughout the County. Transportation issues could have been resolved with a few buses offering rides from the VCC, for those who drove there did not feel comfortable driving themselves to the open shelters.
I understand that we released the running of the VCC to the City when the City decided to ignore our recommendations, however; if this would have gone bad, (remember the roof at shelter that collapsed in Arcadia during Hurricane Charlie), the injured and our community would have looked to us to answer why did you let this happen……………..Florida law puts these decisions on the County. I look forward to improving our systems and am so thankful for the way this turned and for all of the positives that did happen in the operations of this emergency situation.
Again thank you all for all of your hard work and professionalism. Hopefully this weekend is a little more quite and you all can get some well deserved rest and relaxation.

 

This article was chosen for republication based on the interest of our readers. The Uncensored Report (Scoop News) republishes stories from a number of other independent news sources. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect my editorial policy. Francesco Abbruzzino

 




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