In This Time of Thanks…

Barely a month ago, FLASH held its 2011 Annual Meeting during which it named its Heroes of the Disaster Safety Movement – 13 people who everyday serve to inspire us as they dedicate their time, skills and energies toward making our nation safer and more disaster resistant. They are:

Mark Benthien, Executive Director, Earthquake Country Alliance – for his extraordinary efforts as lead organizer of the Great California Shakeout – to increase earthquake awareness among millions, reduce economic losses and save lives. 

Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency – for his efforts to serve the mitigation movement well beyond his role at FEMA by sharing his wealth of leadership experience with the emergency management community.

David Halstead, Deputy Director, Florida Division of Emergency Management — for more than a decade of service to the disaster safety movement through extraordinary leadership in emergency management.

General Russel Honore – for taking up the call to arms and bringing a culture of preparedness to the nation.

Dr. Rick Knabb, Hurricane Expert and Tropical Program Manager for The Weather Channel – for his exceptional coverage of Hurricane Irene.

Forrest Masters, PhD, PE, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida — for groundbreaking research that led to the first Wall of Wind, and for his ongoing identification of breakthrough research to support a strong, better built environment.

Max Mayfield, WPLG-Local 10 TV (Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Former Director of the National Hurricane Center — for continuing to give back to the community with his no-hype approach to hurricane coverage, and for his consistent efforts to educate government agencies and citizens throughout the U.S. about being better prepared for hurricanes.

Bill Read, Director of the National Hurricane Center — for continuing the tradition between FLASH and NOAA, for his delivery of information in real time as hurricanes bear down on this country; and for helping to make StormStruck a reality.

Tim Reinhold, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Vice President for Research and Chief Engineer, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) – for influencing residential and commercial structural design and construction resulting in stronger, safer and more resilient building practices.

Dominic Sims, COO, International Code Council – for extraordinary leadership in the creation of model building codes to ensure a safe, sound and sustainable built environment.

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Florida Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service – for creating meaningful collaborations among disaster safety organizations that result in positive change on the ground in communities nationwide.

John Zarrella, Miami Correspondent for CNN — for going into harm’s way to deliver timely news thus ensuring those in need are being served.

Thank you all for the critical role you play in the disaster safety movement – a movement that has taken great strides to better protect our nation from both man-made and natural disasters. And thanks to the thousands of others in the movement – those our “Heroes” have inspired to further influence stronger, safer residential and commercial structural design and building practices, create and enact stricter building codes, and better educate consumers on the importance of disaster preparedness.

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at FLASH.

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