With the onset of hurricane season – which began June 1 and will end November 30 – Gulfport prepared with the annual Hurricane Seminar, on Thursday, May 30 at the Catherine A. Hickman Theater. The seminar is a collaboration between the City of Gulfport, law enforcement and multiple community groups that aim to educate the public on how to be ready for the storm season. Jim Wright, Gulfport Police Department volunteer coordinator, attended the Tuesday night event. “By the time the hurricane or bad storm gets here, people are not prepared,” Wright said. “Only so many shelters will allow pets, and shelters should be a last resort. We really just want people to be ready.
Special guest speakers at the seminar included Bobby Deskins, Chief Meteorologist at WTSP Channel 10 and Cathie Perkins, Emergency Management Director for Pinellas County.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center a “near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year.” The organization’s prediction forecasts “a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.”
Information on the Atlantic hurricane season can be found at noaa.gov. Pinellas County residents can find everything they need locally to prepare for the season in the county’s All Hazard Guide, which includes detailed storm readiness information like evacuation zones, shelters, directions to create emergency preparedness kits and more: pinellascounty.org/emergency/PDF/All_Hazard_Guide.pdf
Copies of the guide can also be picked up at the Gulfport Library or at Gulfport City Hall.