Taylor County Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS)
Taylor County is certainly accustomed to experiencing numerous natural and man made disasters. Given its location and the fact it shares its entire southern border with the Gulf of Mexico, the County has experienced many tropical storms and other related weather events. This "Big Bend" area of Florida, of which Taylor County is a part of, is predicted to experience some of the highest storm surges found anywhere in the nation, and to some degree, the entire world, next only to the surges experienced by Bangladesh in the Indian Ocean. With its shallow offshore bathometry, and the County's low-lying coastal topography, it is extremely vulnerable to all types of tropical events, and even non-tropical events, such as the Winter Storm of 1993, which caused the deaths of several coastal inhabitants based on the rapid rise of the Gulf of Mexico.
Taylor County also is heavily forested. Its motto of being "The Forest Capitol of Florida" means it is also susceptible to forest fires, especially in the wildland/urban interface areas. The timber industry is one of the industrial lifelines in Taylor County, and employs many of its residents. Living with the threat of forest fire and its associated impacts requires constant surveillance.
In addition, Taylor County has several areas where its underlying Karsts topography makes sinkholes a reality, and a threat. Several have opened up in the past, causing damage and displacing residents, transportation routes, and businesses.
Much of Taylor County is categorized as wetlands (24%). The western boundary of Taylor County is the Aucilla River, which frequently floods, sometimes because of localized rainfall, and many times because of excessive rainfall anywhere along its path in other neighboring counties. Equally, the Steinhatchee, Econfina, and Fenholloway Rivers will on occasion flood, causing damage to homes and infrastructure.
Based on the constant threat of these hazards, and many more, their risk, and the extensive vulnerability of the county's infrastructure, businesses, and homes, the Taylor County Board of County Commissioners and the City Commission of Perry sanctioned the development of the Taylor County (TC) Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS), and its various updates. The purpose of the LMS is to identify the hazards Taylor County is susceptible to, and develop strategies to reduce the risk to people and property from these risks. This is also important as more parts of Taylor County are being developed, with a goal of making them hazard resilient.
The 2010 Update of the Taylor County LMS is designed to provide an update of the progress made in implementing the goals, objectives, and projects developed by the LMS Working Group. The identification, reduction and management of risks from disasters are becoming increasingly important. If effective action is not taken, human and economic costs of disasters to communities in Taylor County could increase. Local governments, its citizens, businesses, industry, educational institutions, and community organizations must strive together to meet mitigation objectives. This LMS is a compilation of the efforts of these stakeholders' to identify their mitigation goals and objectives, and develop mitigation initiatives based on their vulnerability to the hazards of Taylor County. Implementation of the hazard mitigation objectives will be accomplished through personal awareness and responsibility, coupled with governmental regulation and enforcement, as well as public awareness and support. Taken as a whole, these efforts will help make Taylor County a safer, more disaster resilient community.
For more information contact the Taylor County Emergency Management Agency