Hurricane Michael was a learning experience for the Panhandle and Florida State University is hoping to take some of what was learned to help better prepare for future natural disasters.
The Florida State University Askew School of Public Administration and Policy came to Jackson County to listen to local, school and government officials tell their stories of recovery and to find out what the county still needs.
Jackson County was hit hard by the storm with 2,869 students in transitional housing or roughly 44 percent of the school population.
Other concerns are contractors being able to fix damaged homes or build new housing as needed which is why local government officials are working on streamlining the permit process.
Dr. David Berlan says this data will be beneficial for the recovery effort.
“The first thing we’re going to do with it is come up with a report that’s useful for the community, that sort of tallies and recognizes the work that was done, the aid that was provided, some idea of the needs that remain and make it a useful tool, both for recognizing what was done and for the communities to go out and advocate on their own behalf,” said Dr. David Berlan, who is an associate professor at FSU.
After the study is published, Dr. Berlan hopes others will be able to take insights from the successes in Jackson County and be more prepared in other areas.