We can send up a request and of course we would send up a request after speaking with the elected officials, including the sheriff. It wouldn't just be my issue I would take input from each of those people and if that is what they wanted then we would request it. But just because we requested it doesn't mean the governor would issue it.
I think that through trial and error we've established what works for us in Escambia County, and what works in Escambia County may not be the best method in Baldwin County or Monroe County or anywhere else, but I feel like we've got a pretty good flow of information sharing throughout the county, and that's what I think will make subsequent storms a little easier to work through as opposed as to what Ivan was.
The preparedness on all levels has increased 10-fold from the local citizens up to the government level. People are a taking it a lot more serious. I think everybody has seen how devastating these storms can be, both to their property and to their potential loss of life. I think the awareness level, seriousness and priority it has given has made it a lot easier for the preparation to take place.
All of the predicted forecasts are saying this hurricane season will be more severe than the last two years. On the other hand, the last two years have been worse than was predicted. Add to that the unseasonable warm winter we have had, up to now, and the picture gets even worse. Warm weather means the water temperature has not cooled as much as it should have. Warmer weather is a great factor in the intensity of upcoming storms.
One of the things people can do ahead of time is to check with their insurance company. Touch base with them and make sure you have the coverage that you think you have. So many people find out they are not covered when it is too late. Insurance companies may require a waiting period, so don't wait.