Chief Resilience Officer Tours Tampa Bay Region
In February the state’s new Chief Resilience Officer, Dr. Wesley Brooks, met with county and city officials across the Tampa Bay region to tour and discuss resiliency projects and challenges faced by the Tampa Bay Region community. Dr. Brooks oversees the Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection at the Department of Environmental Protection and supports resiliency efforts of several state agencies.

Dr Brooks. also visited the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council where he was provided an overview of the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition and recent resilience projects including the MacDill Military Installation Resilience Initiative and Project Phoenix 2.0: Hurricane Simulation. Tampa Bay RPC Chair, Councilwoman Brandi Gabbard from the City of St. Petersburg provided an overview of flooding and insurance challenges faced by residents in many parts of the Tampa Bay region. 

Dr. Brooks expressed that one of his missions is to help coordinate and develop a strong network of resiliency resources by connecting local governments with the State and the Federal government as well as connecting multiple agencies which have similar objectives. This network of shared information will make Florida more resilient for generations to come.  

North Central Florida RPC Promotes Eco-tourism
The North Central Florida RPC provides staff support services to The Original Florida Tourism Task Force which is a multi-county destination marketing organization promoting nature-based, heritage-based and cultural-based tourism in the north central Florida region. The area consists of 14 predominantly rural counties and covers approximately 10,000 square miles. The Task Force brands and markets the region as Visit Natural North Florida. Marketing activities include a website, digital and print advertising campaigns, distribution of brochures and a quarterly electronic newsletter and participation at travel shows. 
This project is an innovative regional partnership approach to tourism promotion. By combining the expertise and leveraging the resources of the Council and county tourism development councils participating in The Original Florida Tourism Task Force, rural counties throughout the north central Florida region are able to reach a much larger market to promote their nature-based, heritage-based and culture-based tourism opportunities. By working together through this partnership, the tourism and hospitality industry sector of the regional economy is enhanced and strengthen in a sustainable manner. Visit the website: for more information.
Central Florida RPC Hosts Mass Casualty Exercise
Over 170 first responders, volunteer victims, and evaluators worked together to simulate an airline crash at the Lakeland Linder International Airport to test existing plans, systems, and processes on February 15, 2022. The Central Florida RPC contracted with Emergency Response Educators and Consultants Inc. (EREC) to coordinate the triennial full-scale exercise, engaging multiple agencies to test emergency response policies and procedures. 
The event was conducted in an “all-hazards” environment, providing training for federal, county, city, and regional partners. The scenario involved a collision of two aircraft on the runway, one with 50 passengers and one with hazardous materials released during the impact. First responders worked quickly to triage passengers while mitigating the effects of the hazardous materials.
An After-Action Report and Improvement Plan will provide participating agencies a full report of the event and guide them in improving response to real-time disaster events.

April 5 - 6, 2022