Kickoff to Hurricane Season 2020: Communicating Risks – A discussion with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes

Episode #2

Disaster Recovery Roundtable welcomes Leslie Chapman Henderson with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to discuss their hurricane mitigation and preparedness programs. Leslie will share information available to emergency managers as they prepare for hurricane season, including the latest on the Hurricane Strong initiative, efforts to promote improved building codes, COVID-19 impacts to their operations, and details about a new FLASH podcast.

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) was formed as a volunteer committee in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and today supports emergency managers and others in preparing for disasters. The organization is best known for its efforts to promote stronger building codes in coastal states prone to hurricanes. FLASH’s CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson will share the latest opportunities available to communities promoting hurricane resilience through the Hurricane Strong designation initiative and how they are updating the program based on a new survey of public input based on this year’s concerns with COVID-19.

Key Takeaways

  • [00:51] Can you tell us about your organization and how it started?
  • [02:00] For the emergency managers out there, what resources do you have available to support their efforts preparing for hurricane season?
  • [03:38] How has COVID-19 has impacted FLASH and the ability to educate the public?

    As we approach the 2020 season, it is an unprecedented time for emergency managers, preparing for the start of hurricane season, while still recovering from a pandemic. COVID-19 impacted how you traditionally engaged emergency managers, media, and schools before each season. I understand the annual Hurricane Awareness Tour was cancelled, and you shifted your focus to virtual promotion of risks during Hurricane Awareness Week in May. How has all of this impacted you and your team, and your ability to educate the public?

  • [06:35] Wasn’t Leon County in the Tallahassee area the first county to participate in the Hurricane Strong program? How does the program work?
  • [11:10] Hurricane Strong sounds like Storm Ready, but not as complicated for a community to support, right?
  • [14:10] In relation to COVID-19, how has it impacted what FLASH typical does out in the field?
  • [16:50] How to get involved with FLASH

    For people who want to get involved with your organization, I understand there are some opportunities out there, including your annual conference that you hold in the fall?

  • [18:55] For anybody out there who misses their Leslie time – I understand you have a new podcast?
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Leslie Chapman Henderson
Leslie Chapman-Henderson
President and Chief Executive Officer
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters.


  • For more information about the programs mentioned during this episode, visit
  • For more about Hurricane Strong, visit

And if you are interested in learning more about FLASH’s new podcast Strong Homes – Safe Families, search for it on your favorite podcast provider.