In 2017 Osceola County once again experienced the power and potential destructive forces that come with hurricanes. The Osceola County Emergency Operations Center moved quickly and efficiently in mobilizing its teams on all levels to ensure the public’s safety.  That level of preparation doesn’t just happen, it take countless hours of research, planning, preparation and training.

As part of ongoing disaster readiness training, Osceola County employees and partners recently came together to hone their response capability.

County staff and various partners reviewed new software, the latest hurricane predictions and worked as a team through an emergency situation as part of this year’s exercise.

An important aspect of the day was building communication, getting comfortable with team members and brainstorming solutions to problems posed during an emergency, officials said.

“I’m grateful that you are here today spending this time to help, so that our community is safe when disaster threatens,” said Commission Chairman Fred Hawkins, Jr. He referred to a situation during Hurricane Irma when a mother went into labor, “I’ve seen the difference you can make in one family’s life and I know that is just one example of the important work that you do. So, I’m thankful for the sacrifices you make for our citizens.”

As part of the day, Emergency Managers and the county’s multi-discipline team, as well as partners from Kissimmee, St. Cloud, the Sheriff’s Office and the School District learned the latest on the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and concludes November 30.

“We are better prepared individually and as a team to serve our residents as a result of this exercise,” said Emergency Management Director Bill Litton. “This is a great tool to identify critical issues and address them prior to an actual threat to our community. It’s important for the team to come together and practice, so that we have our rhythm when the risk is real.”

All residents should prepare for hurricane season by creating a family plan and disaster supply kit, securing personal property and having a place to go in the event of an evacuation. Learn more at