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First hurricane seminar of season to be held next week

By Staff | Jul 8, 2009

True, it has been nearly five years since the island was devastated by Hurricane Charley, which taught the community a very valuable lesson: be prepared.

However, when it comes to making your own personal storm strategy for you and your family to follow, you can never be too prepared or have too much information when a hurricane is threatening to strike in Southwest Florida.

In an effort to accommodate residents, property owners, business owners and Island workers, the City of Sanibel will sponsor a pair of hurricane preparation seminars for the 2009 season.

The first seminar will be held on Monday, July 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. at at BIG Arts, located at 900 Dunlop Road. The second seminar has been scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 20, also at BIG Arts from 1 to 3 p.m.

Main topics to be discussed will be hurricane predictions for the 2009 season, special needs programs, family storm planning as well as City of Sanibel building codes.

“It’s very important that people attend these seminars,” said Maj. Michael Murray of the Sanibel Police Department. “We conduct these seminars yearly not only for the new residents and businesses on the island, but for the folks who have already gone through a hurricane. Even if you’ve been here a long time, you can benefit from learning more about how to prepare for something like this. It’s important not to get complacent.”

Featured speakers will include the City of Sanibel’s official weather consultant, Dave Roberts. He will provide weather-related information on how a hurricane forms, where and when they are most likely to form, dangers associated with the different categories of hurricanes, and the dangers of storm surge.

Sanibel Fire & Rescue District Chief Danny Duncan will discuss the Fire Department’s role in responding to a natural disaster. Lee County Emergency Operations Planning Chief Gerald Campbell will review hurricane planning for families and their responsibilities.

In addition, local building official Harold Law will review the City of Sanibel’s building codes.

Both seminars are free and reservations are not required. 2009 Hurricane Hangtags will be available at the end of each seminar.

To obtain your 2009 Hurricane Hangtag during these meetings, you will be required to show one of the following documents:

Valid Florida drivers license with a physical Sanibel or Captiva address

Copy of your tax bill

A deed, mortgage document or rental agreement

Sanibel or Captiva utility bill

Current county registration card with address

It is important to take the time to attend one of these seminars to ensure you receive all the information on the City’s Hurricane Plan.