Aventura students called Weather Rangers learn about hurricanes from expertsDecember 7, 2017 10:46pm

Dec. 05-- MIAMI-As hurricane rebuilding and recovery efforts slowly continue in some communities, one group of students-the Weather Rangers from Aventura Waterways K-8 Center-took the opportunity to learn more about probable larger storms in the future and their effects.

"Instead of a Category 1, imagine if Hurricane Irma made landfall as a Category 4 on Sept. 10," StormZone Program Director Bay Proby said. "It would have been a much more destructive storm. That's what these students were faced with-planning for and recovering from an Irma on steroids."

The 39 sixth-grade students used Hurrivac computer images at the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center to monitor a fictitious Category 4 hurricane as it got closer to South Florida's coast.

They played the parts of meteorologists, mayor, reporters, and persons involved in Emergency Support Functions. Their scenarios included simulations of flooding, fires, shelter evacuations, medical assistance, search and rescue, and hazardous materials spill services, as well as the round up of escaped zoo animals.

"We've sent boats, helicopters and anything we can get our hands on," said Lucas Huenefeld during the StormZone emergency scenario. "We acted quickly and got the job done."

"These Weather Rangers are dedicated students responsible for teaching their classmates and the community at large about the importance of disaster preparedness and community volunteerism," Proby said.

"Like the Aventura Waterways K-8 Center experience, the program enables students to form their own government, learn the organizing principles used by emergency managers, make the decisions necessary to respond to a disaster in their community and create and coordinate a disaster recovery plan. Additionally, students learn the importance of preparedness and community volunteerism."

To learn about StormZone and the Weather Rangers student outreach program, visit www.stormzone.us or contact Proby at bp@stormzone.us.

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(c)2017 Miami Herald

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