August 21, 2007

Hurricane Dean; Hurricane Andrew

With Hurricane Dean on our TV screens now, Floridians and Gulf Coast residents are reminded of the potential for natural disaster every hurricane season. Before Hurricane Dean there was Katrina, before Katrina there was Andrew.

Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in 1992, leaving behind a trail of disaster — 85 deaths, 160,000 homeless, more than $30 billion in damage and 8,000 businesses destroyed or damaged.

Governor Chiles moved the Capitol's manpower and expertise to Dade County for as long as it took to rebuild. His dedication to recovery-- before the winds had even fully died down--and diligence in marshaling the resources of the state set the standard for natural disaster management.

I am a long way from finishing even my prep work on Hurricane Andrew policy under Chiles/MacKay, but I appreciate more than ever why a chapter on Andrew must be written.

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