County Prepares For 2012 Hurricane Season With Expo At MOSI

More than 3,000 area residents visited the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo last year. Hillsborough County officials are promising another educationally plentiful event to help all to be ready for the upcoming storm season.

In preparation for the 2012 hurricane season, Hillsborough County officials in partnership with the City of Tampa are again making plans to hold the Fifth Annual Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo.

The event is scheduled to be held at The Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa, on Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., and is promising to continue its tradition of educating the public on the importance of making plans in preparation for any emergency through a fun, family-oriented event.

“Personal preparation has always been the focus of the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo,” said Hillsborough County Community Relations Coordinator Stacy Williams. “We hope many will join us and walk away better equipped and ready for an emergency situation.”

While organizers are brainstorming a name for this year’s event, the Expo will encourage area residents to focus on past themes such as the 2009 theme, Run From the Water; Hide From the Wind, which meant that if you were asked to evacuate, you wouldn’t have to travel far. Just get out of the storm surge area and hunker down in a relative, friend, coworker or church member’s home who doesn’t have to evacuate.

The 2010 theme – The First 72 Are Up To You, meant that after a natural or man-made disaster it is important for families to have the water, food, batteries and other essentials they will need to sustain themselves for at least three days.

Last year’s focus on the 90th anniversary of the infamous 1921 hurricane that devastated the Tampa Bay area, and the 20th anniversary of hurricane Andrew, is a sobering reminder of what can happen.

“Local emergency responders may be ready for any disaster they face, but they still look to area residents to help,” said Hillsborough County Senior Emergency Planner, Marcus Martin. “By residents being prepared our community can and, will recover quicker after a storm.”

The expo features vendors, entertainment, a panel of meteorologists from local news stations and emergency experts, children’s activities, giveaways and discounted admission to MOSI (special engagements excluded).

Last year, more than 3,000 guests attended the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo.

Vendor opportunities are available for businesses, local nonprofits and government agencies who offer hurricane protection or survival products or services.

The expo is free to visit while MOSI will be offering discounted entrance to its exhibits. For a family outing, visitors can head on over to MOSI to experience Disasterville featuring WeatherQuest, a 10,000-sq.-ft. exhibition on floods, hail, lightning, tsunamis and volcanoes, including immersion theaters that demonstrate what it’s like to be in an earthquake, hurricane, tornado and wildfire.

For more information and the latest news on the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo, visit www.TampaBayHurricaneExpo.com.