New “Hurricane Strong” initiative hopes to reach disconnected, unaware

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes unveiled its Hurricane Strong campaign today at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.

The effort hopes to reach a new audience as public awareness about hurricane readiness is waning because of a decade-long lack of storms hitting Florida.

Participants in a morning discussion that included Weather Channel hurricane expert Bryan Norcross were blunt about people’s lack of preparedness for hurricanes and disasters in general.

“In Miami, in most of the city, they don’t know their neighbors, people don’t pay attention to what’s going on in town, people don’t watch the news,” Norcross said. “If every station covered something, you might get 15 percent paying attention, but those are the people inclined to participate anyway.”

Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center, said it’s not just new Floridians who need to be educated about storms, but also long-time residents who may have lived through a storm and think they have seen the worst Mother Nature can bring.

“People believe they went through a really bad hurricane in 2005, but they didn’t experience the worst,” Knabb said. “I don’t have all the answers to convince people, but we need to change the conversation.”

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