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Emergency Workers Face Fictional “Hurricane Griffin” In Drill

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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – In preparation for the 2011 hurricane season, state officials are taking part in the statewide annual hurricane exercise.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management will use this drill as a tool to iron out any glitches they might encounter in efforts to be prepared if an actual hurricane should hit the state.

The drill is being held in coordination with the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA) and its operator members, who will sponsor important test emergency alerts to be broadcast on digital billboards across Florida.

Last year’s hurricane exercise was canceled because officials were busy dealing with a real emergency — the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The hurricane that took aim at Florida on Monday is fictional, but it’s designed to provide realistic training for a new emergency team including Gov. Rick Scott.

What’s been dubbed “Hurricane Griffin” will follow the same track as Hurricane Frances in 2004.

That will take the pretend storm across the southern part of Florida’s peninsula from east to west and into the gulf, where it will head north toward Tallahassee.

The fictional storm path has Gov. Scott and emergency managers looking at evacuation plans for the capital city to temporary headquarters at Fort Blanding near Jacksonville.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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