Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Sees Mock for All Its Emergency Needs; Mayor Peyton's Hurricane Go-To Guy Is Set to Retire Next Year

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Sees Mock for All Its Emergency Needs; Mayor Peyton's Hurricane Go-To Guy Is Set to Retire Next Year

Article excerpt

Byline: MARY KELLI PALKA

When the center of a hurricane is bearing down on Jacksonville, most people look to Mayor John Peyton for emergency guidance.

But behind the scenes, Peyton looks to Lorin Mock for advice when educating residents on hurricane preparedness.

Peyton tapped Mock, 51, as the city's emergency preparedness director last August. Mock is responsible for making sure the city is prepared for everything from wildfires to terrorist attacks.

But his highest public profile comes during hurricane season, which started June 1.

Before he's set to retire in July 2008, there's a decent chance that the Emergency Operations Center will be put on high alert in anticipation of a storm. The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has predicted 13 to 17 named storms this season, with as many as 10 becoming hurricanes.

Peyton said he believes Mock and his team are well prepared to deal with whatever comes the city's way.

"I depend enormously on their yearlong preparation and training," Peyton said.

Much of Mock's job comes before a storm, large wildfires or other calamity. The emphasis is preparation - specifically teaching others what they need to know and what they need to do to prepare.

And it's about making sure that every aspect of the city's response is coordinated, from when to board up city buildings to making sure debris is picked up off roadways to clear the way for first responders.

"I think you have to be a people-person," said David Halstead, chief of the State Emergency Response Team for the Florida Division of Emergency Management. "But you also have to be strong in your convictions and persuasive enough in your arguments."

Halstead has known Mock since soon after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mock was one of the early leaders of the State Working Group For Domestic Security, he said.

"He was able to assist us in bringing the teams together," Halstead said.

So when the city's former Emergency Preparedness Director Chip Patterson announced he was leaving last summer, Halstead said he was one of the people who recommended Mock for the job.

At the time, Mock was a fire district chief, where he's been since about the beginning of Peyton's term. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.