By Tamas Mondovics
Motivated by the slogan “Be Ready Tampa Bay!” the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County supported by many volunteers geared up to face the 2015 hurricane season.
Topping a series of events ahead of the season, which officially runs June 1 through November 30, is the bay area’s annual Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo to be held on Saturday, May 30 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) at 4801 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa.
Expo organizers said that as it is has been the case in the past, the event’s goal and mission is simple, but bold: to educate residents on the importance of knowing their evacuation zone and on making adequate survival plans for any emergency.
“The Tampa Bay area is extremely vulnerable to many hazards, particularly hurricanes,” said Senior Program Coordinator at Hillsborough County Emergency Management Ted Williams. “That is why we are hosting this free event that we believe will better equip our community with the tools to prepare themselves for the upcoming hurricane seasons.”
The Tampa Bay Hurricane Expo will raise awareness and educate the public in a fun, family oriented environment. Musical entertainment, educational seminars and vendor giveaways will be provided to the attending public. This is an inclusive event, targeting all communities represented within the Tampa Bay area such as Spanish speakers, elderly and special needs citizens.
As the countdown to the 2015 hurricane season winds down, County officials hosted an event earlier this month, prompting multiple departments and emergency response agencies to provide disaster preparedness information to employees and their families.
“Safeguarding lives and providing critical services are Hillsborough County government’s most important responsibilities during a natural or manmade disaster,” said Michelle Van Dyke with Hillsborough County Communications. “County employees are required to designate the roles they will take to help residents before, during, and after a disaster – which means employees must have personal plans in place long before the first warning signs.”
One of the season’s most important hurricane preparedness events also on the roster is the annual statewide hurricane exercise, scheduled for Thursday, May 21. During the exercise, Hillsborough County’s Emergency Operations Center and emergency response agencies are fully activated for the mock scenario.
Residents can find disaster preparedness information, evacuation zones, supply lists, and tips at www.HillsboroughCounty.org/Emergency, or by calling 236-3800.
For more information about the 2015 Hurricane Expo, visit www.TampaBayHurricaneExpo.com.