By CRAIG GARRETT
It’s called whistling past the graveyard. The idea is doing your best to keep from ending up in one.
Which is what DeSoto County and Arcadia authorities did as Hurricane Dorian placed central Florida in his gunsights. Local officials with South Florida State College, health agencies, law enforcement and fire, DeSoto Memorial Hospital, the schools, agriculture/4-H, the city, commissioners and others met over several days through Monday at the county’s emergency management bunker. These leaders schemed against Dorian, listened to state EOC/weather professionals, generally planned how to keep us safe should a hurricane drive inland.
DeSoto County and Arcadia also declared states of emergency, placing themselves on the list for disaster relief, should things turn nasty, as had happened with Charley and Irma. Food, water, shelter and help for the disabled were immediate priorities. Schools would close Tuesday, just in case.
The twice daily briefings were run by DeSoto EOC director Tom Moran and his second in command, Brian Newhouse.
“We’ve been preparing,” Arcadia city administrator Terry Stewart reported at one briefing. “We’re as good as good can be.”