From June to November, many coastal residents keep a wary eye on the weather forecast, wondering if and when the next tropical storm or hurricane will develop. While the threat of a hurricane is a constant worry for some residents, there are always those who say, "It won't happen here."
Often, it is not until a major storm strikes a community that people realize their vulnerability and wish they had taken more precautions. This can even be the case for state emergency officials and coastal resource managers who can find themselves after a disaster with questions about what to do next.
So say managers in Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina who have lived through some of the worst hurricane disasters of the 20th century. Each of the coastal programs in these states has worked to implement better planning measures in the wakes of hurricanes Andrew, Hugo, and Floyd.
In the cover story of this edition of Coastal Services, you'll read about some of the creative management measures implemented since these killer storms. There are, of course, many more actions these managers have taken than we can cover in this publication. If your program is working on implementing hazard mitigation strategies, I encourage you to contact these states to find out more about the lessons they have learned.
As this edition of Coastal Services is going to press, I have been asked to fill the position of assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS). While I am honored to take on this role, it is not without a sense of loss at the death of Dr. Nancy Foster. While her tenure as assistant administrator was a short two years, her vision of NOS as the nation's coastal steward inspired us all. She will be missed.
The Coastal Services Center remains in the very capable hands of our management team. I look forward to continuing to serve you in my new position.
-- Margaret A. Davidson