Hurricane Season 2021: The Mayors

CBS4's Jim Berry spoke to Daniella Levine Cava and Steve Geller to get their thoughts on leading in these uncertain times.

Video Transcript

- You're watching "Hurricane 2021-- Preparing in a Pandemic."

CRAIG SETZER: Welcome back. This is the second hurricane season where we're preparing in a pandemic. But Miami-Dade and Broward have new mayors, and many will be looking to them to be a voice of calm in the storm. CBS 4's Jim Berry spoke to Daniella Levine Cava and Steve Geller to get their thoughts on leading us in these times of uncertainty.

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: We know that storms are coming earlier, and they're lasting longer.

JIM BERRY: Between them, Miami-Dade's Daniella Levine Cava and Broward's Steve Geller have 4.6 million residents to think about when making this year's plans for hurricane season. For Geller, the top priority is human safety.

STEVE GELLER: Obviously, the number one priority is to make sure that we have sufficient shelter capacity and sufficient ability to evacuate the coastal areas.

JIM BERRY: Geller worries that many people won't go into shelters for fear of being in crowds while we remain in a pandemic, which is why he and his Miami-Dade counterpart are pushing the same message.

STEVE GELLER: Get vaccinated immediately so that you won't have this difficult decision to make if you have to be evacuated, if you have to go into a shelter.

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: We're really urging people-- this is the time to get vaccinated in case you do need to be in close quarters.

JIM BERRY: In Miami-Dade, Cava says an extra effort has gone into reaching residents with an updated hurricane guide and an app with plenty of useful information on the county's hurricane preparedness plan. But she wants county citizens to also do their part.

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: We especially now want those who are really vulnerable and might need help with the evacuation to register early with our Office of Emergency Management. We also need everybody to do the preparation work like trees. The trees need to be trimmed now, and the trash piles need to be picked up now.

JIM BERRY: Meantime, back at Broward, Geller says he wants to get the county better equipped to handle sea level rise and prevent flooding. He knows all too well one grim fact about hurricanes.

STEVE GELLER: The majority of people that die in a hurricane die from the flooding, not from the winds.

JIM BERRY: And finally, both mayors are stressing the age old adage of people getting their ducks in a row now, by getting hurricane supplies early.

DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA: Don't be caught flat-footed when the hurricane is on its way.

JIM BERRY: In fact, Cava says she hopes residents take time to collect a seven-day supply of essentials. And in Broward, Geller hopes to iron out how many schools will be available for shelter use. The recent superintendent drama, he says, has left the school system preoccupied. I'm Jim Berry, CBS 4 News.