Hurricane Dorian did not directly hit Orlando, but it did test our region’s reflexes when it came to preparing for a potential natural disaster. For our leaders it was a test, and I believe most of those leaders, both newly elected with under a year in office or with years of experience in the position, did a pretty good job.
Governor Ron DeSantis, was out front for the entire time, and handled his briefings well. He kept the channels of communication open with both Washington and the municipalities, and for his first real severe weather test, there was no doubt who was in charge. He could have suspended the tolls a little sooner but he didn’t do any harm by waiting.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, has been to this rodeo plenty of times before. The city of Orlando was well prepared with briefings, sandbag locations, and emergency services at the ready. Mayor Dyer isn’t always the most exciting political personality, but being ready and soft spoken during these challenges is probably why he’s going to get reelected again in a couple of months.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, has dealt with these challenges as sheriff many times, and also did a good job during his first severe weather test as Mayor. He held plenty of briefings and ran down the preparations the county was doing to keep people safe.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma: Both veteran law enforcement leaders were visible during the entire time, and they were very careful over how they used curfews. Enforcing a curfew can raise worries and hurt businesses if not careful, these two made the right call.
I was not very happy with Senator Rick Scott. His presence during Dorian was confusing. Whether it was “Meet the Press” on Sunday or a variety of other media tour stops throughout the week, it really wasn’t needed. While he also did well during with hurricanes during his watch, his self appointment as the state’s spokesperson this time around was unnecessary.