MANATEE -- More than 200 people participated Thursday in a mock emergency drill, simulating what might happen should a fictitious "Hurricane Jones" hit near Port Charlotte.
The simulated hurricane and an aftermath of tornadoes and heavy flooding provided fodder for the county's emergency management team to evaluate whether it is adequately prepared for such a disaster.
"It brings about a little better comfort level," explained Don Hermey, chief of the county's emergency management division, which organized Thursday's exercise.
The goal was to "encourage preparedness among everyone" as the start of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches June 1.
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State officials set this week for exercises across Florida, said Hermey. Sarasota County also staged its practice session Thursday.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.