By George “Bud” Scholl, Mayor
(Tuesday, May 14, 2019) – June 1 marks the first day of the 2019 hurricane season. No one ever wishes for a natural disaster to impact their home, but we must be prepared. And the City of Sunny Isles Beach is. Though living on a coastal barrier island provides us year-round recreation, this also makes us particularly vulnerable to weather events. However, through measures implemented by the City Commission and City Staf, Sunny Isles Beach is well-equipped should a hurricane or storm impact our area.
Hurricane Irma in 2017 brought the first major hurricane to affect our area since 2005. Luckily, we had procedures in place that allowed us to optimize recovery time and ensure the most efficient and safe clean-up. Our staff pulled together to re-open the City within days following the storm. Our Police Department responded during and after the storm when conditions allowed them to do so safely. And our Public Works and Parks staff ensured a prompt recovery to the City’s infrastructure and aesthetic.
But being prepared financially for a storm is just as important as physical reinforcements. Not only is our staff capable of extraordinary measures, but our budget has carefully allocated emergency funds for such incidents. With more than $25 million in funds for hurricane/emergency and disaster recovery, the City is financially armed to combat any disaster that may breach our boundaries.
We are also poised to aid our fellow Florida neighbors and community, both monetarily and in-kind. Following the aftermath of October 2018’s Hurricane Michael, we assisted several communities in the Panhandle with the donation of 21 new generators through our Police Department. The City also led an effort to provide assistance and supplies to one town that suffered severe damage from the hurricane, Altha, Florida. Vice Mayor Larisa Svechin even visited Altha to deliver toys, supplies and other items the students lost during the storm.
It is these initiatives by our staff and Commission that assure our preparedness and bolster my confidence in our immediate recovery should a hurricane hit. But preparedness is a two-way street. You must now take it upon yourself to prepare your home and your families for hurricane season. I urge you to visit our website, sibf.net/hurricane, and pick up a copy of Miami-Dade County’s hurricane preparedness brochure to ensure you are ready this hurricane season.