Florida HAZUS User Groups (FLHUG): A Catalyst for Mitigating Risks and Improving Collaboration Between Florida's Emergency Management Professionals [open pdf - 1MB]
"When Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm, hit Southwestern Florida on August 13, 2004, its impact was devastating. The largest storm to make landfall on Florida shores since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Charley thrust the state into mitigation mode and spurred its emergency management leaders to focus on strategies that would estimate and minimize potential losses from the hurricane and flood hazards. The state used HAZUS [Hazard US] methodology as its primary tool for this work and offered HAZUS-MH® trainings regionally (beginning with the Southwest Pilot Project) as the 'carrot' to entice diverse groups to become involved in Florida's disaster mitigation plans. Professionals from Florida also participated in HAZUS-MH courses at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The Florida HAZUS User Group (FLHUG) was formally organized in January 2006, when the group met to elect officers, create committees, and adopt a charter. This important step expanded a process that began two years earlier, making HAZUS trainings more widely available and encouraging statewide collaboration between emergency mitigation professionals in both the public and private sectors."
United States Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/