The first day of hurricane season has Floridians preparing for the worst and local emergency managers going old school in a simulation to help them better deal with a mammoth storm.
The managers are recreating the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, a storm that involved 150 mph winds and a 10-foot wall of water bearing down on the South Florida coast.
It's a worst case scenario that the state wants to be prepared for, especially with federal forecasters predicting nine to 14 named tropical storms, including four to seven hurricanes and one to three major storms in the '09 hurricane season.
The 1926 storm serves as a cautionary tale. Ignorance and lack of preparedness got nearly 400 people killed in the area, a large number considering that the area population was much less at the time.
"Worst-case sounds like something we cooked up," Jack Beven, a senior forecaster at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, told the Miami Herald. "This is something that happened."
Though emergency managers are paid to prepare for the worst, they're also urging all South Florida residents to be just as prepared.
"It's not a scare tactic for the public," said John Cherry, external affairs director for the state division of emergency management, told the Herald. "If you plan for the worst, it makes it easier to scale back, rather than scale up."
For all 2009 hurricane season info check out NBC's hurricane guide here.