Expert: Jacksonville area responded well to Hurricane Matthew

by: Kevin Clark, Action News Jax Updated:

Despite all the problems with power and damage to the beach, a local expert said our area handled Hurricane Matthew well, in both preparation and the response.

Dr. Nathan Kunz teaches at the University of North Florida and has years of experience in disaster preparedness.

When it came to the evacuation process, he said both the city and its citizens were well-prepared.

Dr. Kunz said one area for improvement would be the city communicating evacuation orders better through a phone app or website.

“The only issue that I would see is for citizens to know when to evacuate and what they have to do it,” said Dr. Kunz. “For example, the Jax Ready app didn’t tell you when you had to evacuate until you had to be out of there.”

Kunz also gave good grades for returning evacuees back to their homes and power restoration.

During power restoration JEA has taken heat for giving out deadlines it hasn’t been able to meet.

Dr. Kunz said customers want to hear those deadlines anyway.

“If you don’t give any deadlines, people will be frustrated because they don’t know how long they have to wait,” he said. “If you give deadlines, some of the people will be happy because they get power before the deadline.”

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