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Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center Gathers For Practice Drill

On Tuesday officials gathered for a practice drill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center conducted a practice drill on Tuesday just ahead of the Hurricane Season. Emergency Management Director Curtis Sommerhoff spoke to NBC 6's Julia Bagg. (Published Tuesday, May 22, 2012)

    Seventy-two hours before tropical storm winds hit, police, firefighters and other responders start gathering at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center.

    On Tuesday, they gathered for a practice drill.

    "We like to call it organized chaos," said Emergency Management Director Curtis Sommerhoff.

    "It's giving us an opportunity to shake off a little bit of the rust. We haven't had a significant event, a tropical cyclone hit this community in almost seven years with Hurricane Wilma," Sommerhoff said.

    From the Coast Guard to the Salvation Army, crews can spend days buzzing inside the EOC in Doral.

    For Sommerhoff, practice makes perfect.

    "If you don't have everybody on the same page, it takes a lot longer to get businesses up and running, debris cleared off the street, the government back up and running, schools open, and when that happens... sometimes people move away."

    Their biggest task comes after the storm, putting a community back together. Sommerhoff notes that if business can't bounce back, they may never reopen, and the economy takes a hit.

    "We want to keep people in Miami-Dade," he said.

    The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1 and runs until Nov. 30.

    Click here for NBC 6 forecasts, hurricane season page, interactive radar.