--Ready and Resilient Counties Prepare. Respond. Thrive.--

Broward County is among the hundreds of counties throughout the United States observing National County Government Month during April and promoting this year’s theme “Ready and Resilient Counties: Prepare. Respond. Thrive.”

Being ready and resilient means taking action to address and mitigate the devastating impacts of a natural disaster during the planning, designing, locating and building communities. It means creating stronger communities that will be less impacted and, therefore, more economically stable in the aftermath of such events, and taking action, as necessary, that will protect, preserve and strengthen the resiliency of the community.

“Broward County has long understood the importance of being resilient, properly planning to establish a stronger community which can weather the array of challenges that can affect any community,” said Miguel Ascarrunz, assistant director of Emergency Management Division at Broward County.

The Broward County Emergency Management Division develops and implements comprehensive emergency planning response, mitigation and recovery activities in order to save lives and protect property in emergencies. Technical assistance is available to develop and maintain emergency plans for all types of hazards. The division also offers free training and presentations to the public on request.

Ascarrunz cites the division’s close involvement with and support of community partners, such as the South Florida Disaster Resiliency Coalition (SFDRC), a partnership with South Florida’s business community. This partnership helps to ensure the South Florida private-public sector is prepared for, responds to, and recovers from natural and man-made disasters through collaboration, coordination of business and nonprofit governmental resources.

“Our partnership with SFDRC supports the FEMA initiative of ‘whole community’ engagement and offers the opportunity to expand and strengthen local disaster management capabilities by tapping into and leveraging South Florida’s extraordinary private sector resources,” Ascarrunz said.

Resiliency is prominent in the County’s planning activities in support of sustainability and in preparation for extreme weather and sea level rise. Broward County has received national recognition for leading climate resilience through policy, planning, projects with local and regional collaborations including leadership in the activities of the landmark Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact, advancement of a robust countywide Climate Action Plan, and adoption of a Climate Change Element as part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, heralded as a national model.

Dr. Jennifer Jurado, director of Broward County’s Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, states, “These efforts are designed to reduce local vulnerability and losses, providing immediate social and economic benefits, but they are also key to mitigating for the more severe impacts of global climate change and represent an important investment in our future.”

National County Government Month, a National Association of Counties (NACo) program observed nationwide each April, is designed to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government.