New Charlotte County emergency operations director prepared for Dorian

Ahead of the storm, there’s brand new leadership in Charlotte County. The emergency operations center has a new director, and what a welcome– Hurricane Dorian is their first big event.

With Dorian inching closer to Florida, shoppers like Ron Kopyscianski aren’t taking any chances.

“I bought all of this water for my own family and I have elderly neighbors and if they can’t get out and get water, at least I can help my neighbors out with the water,” he said.

While Kopyscianski is looking out for his neighbors, Charlotte’s new emergency management director is looking out for all 185,000 people in the county.

“We don’t want anyone to panic but this is the time of year we have to pay attention,” said Director Patrick Fuller.

Fuller says his team is staying in touch with the state emergency operations center and National Hurricane Center, also partnering with Charlotte County public schools, to decide if closing schools is necessary closer to the storm.

County staff members are checking drainage systems for debris and making sure all county buildings are prepped for the storm.

“We certainly have a chance to see the effects here on the west coast, so we certainly want people to pay attention to that,” he said.

But the emergency management team says it’s also up to you to get a plan in place: build emergency kits, prepare your cars and have a place to go if you need to evacuate.

“You just never know so I’d rather be prepared,” said Kopyscianski.

Preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best.

The Charlotte County Commission is planning an emergency meeting for Friday at 8 a.m.
Commissioners will discuss declaring a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
The meeting at the county administration center is open to the public.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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