By Tamas Mondovics

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will begin with Andrea, likely followed by Barry, Chantal and Dorian as most hope that the list of names will not reach Tanya, Van or Wendy.

Of course, while one can hope and pray for the best, experts agree that preparation long before the next storm threatens to make its way toward the shorelines, is the key safety.

“Even though we are still experiencing lingering winter weather, it is not too early to begin thinking about hurricane season,” said Communications Specialist, Leila L. McClure with the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services. “As Floridians, we cannot plan as if it won’t happen; we must plan as though it will happen.”

McClure emphasized an important aspect of preparation regarding insurance coverage or how to shop for coverage.

As one example, the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services provides a Disaster Preparedness website with useful resources such as disaster preparedness videos, tool kits, checklists and tip sheets.

“Our online insurance library is a resource for up-to-date information on 26 lines of insurance, and our on-demand library provides additional educational videos on a variety of financial and insurance topics,” she said.

In harmony with McClure’s comments, the 2013 Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo, led by the slogan “Thrive. Survive. Stay Alive.” will focus on the importance of taking actions before a major disaster to ensure you can recover successfully after a storm.

Hillsborough County staff and the City of Tampa, in partnership with MOSI, will host the 6th annual Expo from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, the official start of the hurricane season, at the Museum of Science & Industry located at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa.

According MOSI spokesperson, Shannon Herbon, the museum will provide opportunities for Expo attendees to learn what to do before, during and after a storm.

Expo guests can enjoy MOSI exhibit galleries and one standard IMAX® Dome Theater* film for only $8 per person with children under two admitted free.

For more information and the latest news on the Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo, or to become a vendor or sponsor, visit

The Division operates a toll-free consumer helpline at 1-877-693-5236 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


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