New Hanover County issues Hurricane Florence after action report

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New Hanover County issues Hurricane Florence after action report (Photo: Kate Cornell)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County says overall, its response to Hurricane Florence was a success, but there are some areas staff needs to work on.

The county’s report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of how the county dealt with September’s hurricane, and the aftermath that continues even now.

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New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet says the mission of the after action report is to better prepare for natural disasters, so that we can act preventatively, rather than reactively.

Coudriet says there is one area in particular that they need to work on: communication.
“Everything rises and falls with our ability to communicate inside and outside. We could not communicate enough, so we’re going to over-communicate expectations in what people need to do to be prepared for that,” said Coudriet.

Coudriet adds that one of the reasons New Hanover County was not as prepared as it could have been, was because it had been about 20 years, since Hurricane Floyd, that a storm hit that hard.

Another area to focus on is managing limited supplies during the early stages of the recovery process.

“Wilmington, New Hanover County was an island unto itself, so three or four days into the event, as the supply system was starting to grow thin, we had a difficult time getting resupplied. So we’re going to ensure that maybe… it’s appropriate to say over-resource the amount of commodities,” said Coudriet.

Pender county is scheduled to evaluate its storm response Thursday and Friday.