From the Desk of Mayor Eric H. Jones
June begins the summer months where sun and fun are the operative words. June is also the beginning of the Hurricane season where information and preparation is critical. It is important that we all adhere to the warning and alerts during this time of year to insure that our families are safe. Be sure to check out the City’s website for tips on how to be hurricane ready. We have not experienced a hurricane in quite some time causing a fear that the public may have become a little too comfortable. October 2005 was Florida’s last large Category 3 storm packing 120-mph winds and causing $29 billion in damage across the state’s southern tip. Wilma followed Dennis, which struck the Panhandle in July 2005, and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004. Now, those storms are a distant memory.
Florida is approaching a new six-month hurricane season — it starts June 1 —without a blow from even the weakest of hurricanes over an unprecedented stretch. Since Wilma hit, hurricane preparation has taken a back seat to many other concerns. Meanwhile, emergency managers with hurricane experience have retired, residents with hurricane experience have left and new residents with no such experience at all have moved in. The fewer people with personal hurricane experience, the harder it is for new residents to understand what could potentially happen. There needs to be continual messaging to make people understand that hurricanes are bad, but there’s positive things you can do to lessen the impact. To make a hurricane strike more bearable, people need to have a disaster plan, in addition to at least a three-day supply of food and water and a safe place to store important papers, such as insurance policies. Now is the best time to get those plans and supplies in place, before storms threaten. Remember that “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
cure.” Let’s prepare, just in case.
June is also a time to honor the fathers in this country. However, we are to honor our fathers, not because it’s a holiday, not because it’s a tradition, not because there are sales going on all over the country, but because they are very important to the well-being of a family. The bible tells us to “Honor your father and mother” it doesn’t say, honor only good moms and dads. It doesn’t say, honor them if you like them. It doesn’t say, honor only the right ones. It says, “Honor your father and mother.” And so in this month we honor all fathers. I want this article to speak directly to dads because they need to hear this. You see, we are involved in a war today, and the battleground is not in Iraq or Afghanistan. The battle-ground is in our homes. And what’s at stake is not our land, our property, or our freedoms. It’s more important than that. What’s at stake is our children. And believe me—it’s a war, it’s an important war, and in this country, we are losing the battle. Children are being mentored by everything but good healthy family values. It’s as if as soon as they leave home they begin to live lives that are more of a liability than an asset to society.
Remember fathers, the way you live your lives will be a direct reflection on how your children will grow up. May our children always be able to say, “My dad is always there for me!” How are you fighting the battle? In closing I wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer and remember to celebrate our fathers.