Florida County Practices Tsunami Drill


Even before the devastating tsunami that struck Japan two weeks ago, officials in Central Florida were preparing in case a tsunami hit our coast.

Brevard County said its coast could be hit by a tsunami if an earthquake hit Puerto Rico, which is why emergency officials throughout the county put their skills to the test on Wednesday. They want to be sure that if a tsunami is threatening beaches they will know how to react.

"With the way things are changing in the world, it's never a bad idea to have public safety drills," Chief Todd Scaldo of the Indian Harbour Beach Fire Department said.

The public agrees. Anne Proffit is visiting Brevard County from Long Beach, Calif., where she lives right off the water.

"I wish we were more prepared where I live," Proffit said. "I could have beach property before I know it."

An earthquake in Puerto Rico would sent 2- to 4-foot waves crashing onto Brevard beaches.

Firefighters hit the sand to practice alerting beachgoers to evacuate, which is not always an easy task.

"Main goal is to save lives and help people know this is serious and they need to find higher ground or get to a safer place," Scaldo said.

The county's emergency operations center also reviewed their role in alerting citizens. They sent out a practice alert through their radio system notifying hotels, which would then alert their guests.

"We have to be prepared at all times. As you know, earthquakes could come at any time, day or night, 24-seven. You know, have to be ready to let citizen's know," Scaldo said.

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