Hurricane-preparedness symposium in Sun City Center
BY DANA DITTMAR Special correspondent
Published: August 20, 2013
Updated: August 20, 2013 at 11:23 AM
A couple of weeks ago, we had a line of thunderstorms come through that caused power outages all over the Tampa Bay area. That used to be a rare occurrence. Whether it’s hot or whether it’s cold, we all love to talk about the weather. And there’s plenty to talk about. From last year’s Superstorm Sandy and record snowfalls this past winter to the horrific tornadoes that killed so many of our fellow Americans this past spring, this is proving to be one of the most violent weather years in a long time. We had the AC cranked in March as we hit temperatures in the 90s and the air was full of humidity that doesn’t usually arrive until June. All over the country there’s record heat this summer. Let’s face it. It’s hotter than the hinges of Hades out there. One of the reasons Del Webb decided on this area to build Sun City Center is its uncanny avoidance of a direct hit from a hurricane. That’s also why Cape Canaveral is located where it is. We’ve been extremely lucky so far. Even in 2004, when four hurricanes pounded the state in as many weeks, we didn’t have any severe damage.
But that doesn’t mean we should get complacent. Don’t be left unprepared if one of these dangerous storms does decide to come our way. From 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, the JSA Medical Group will host a symposium on hurricane preparedness. There you can learn how to protect your possessions, when and where to evacuate, what services are available and how to recover from a storm’s damage. Presenters will include folks Bay News 9, The Home Depot, Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue, South Bay Hospital and Bill Barron of our Community Emergency Response Team. A JSA representative will do a presentation on emergency medical supplies. The program is free and open to everyone. JSA is at 787 Cortaro Drive, where the old Sweetbay was. Unlike with a tornado, we often have a couple of days to prepare for a hurricane. Do you know which items you need to take with you if you need to evacuate? Do you know what’s best to include in your emergency supplies? Do you know what to do in the storm’s aftermath? Hopefully our area will once again be spared should a hurricane head this way. But you can never over prepare. Come listen to the experts and be ready just in case. Dana Dittmar is the executive director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce.