The Conference this year was not well attended, especially by folks from Louisiana. The problem with emergency management attendees is usually connected to changing political leaders who feel it is not necessary for them to get “continuing education”. Let me ask you…”can you name your parish or county Emergency Manager?” I bet 9 out of 10 could not since they change so often. That poses another problem…lack of local history/experience dealing with tropical systems. Fortunately for us, the local office of the National Weather Service has many meteorologists who have been here for a long time. It is their knowledge & experience that will guide the many local politicians who have to make the decision to evacuate or not. Only 3 local broadcasters were there & 2 of them are with FOX 8.
One of the things coming out of the conference is a “new” effort to promote personal responsibility in making safer homes. It’s called #HurricaneStrong and is focused on getting students/children to get their parents to react. I pointed out the problem with that is the lack of government tax credits to make homes safer. Our government is more concerned about Green Energy (80% tax Credit for going Solar) than stronger windows ($500 tax credit) or straps & shutters (10-15% insurance reduction, not a credit). If Johnny comes home asking why Daddy hasn’t gotten functional shutters (that cost $10-15 K), Daddy might just remind him that tuition cost, food & clothing etc. use up most of their family income. Nothing left to strengthen houses. Again, government tax CREDITS might help give some homeowners incentive to retrofit their houses. There were several sessions dealing with the changing social media evolution focusing on the younger generations tethered to their cell phones for news/weather & sports. God help them if the internet ever goes down. They’ll be lost. The National Hurricane Center had its usual experts there to present several papers. I always get something out of their talks. All in all, not the best conference but I’m glad I attended since I will be available to Ch. 8 if a hurricane threatens the Gulf this summer. Next year’s conference is scheduled for New Orleans.
Locally, we have seen enough rain the past 3 weeks since I retired. I have only fished once and my golf day was rained out after 9 holes. The concern for later this week is for more heavy rain coming. We’ll see a break for Monday & Tuesday before the next system approaches late Wednesday. All this rain has leafed out the trees & greened up the grasses. My allergies have kicked in as they do every Spring. I’m sure I’m not alone! Stay tuned!