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Longboat Key Wednesday, May 22, 2019 2 years ago

Town, Chamber to host disaster preparedness seminar

The seminar will run from 3:15 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 in the Harbourside Ballroom.
by: Katie Johns Community Editor

Hurricane season is almost here.

From June to November, it’s possible that Longboat Key and surrounding areas will be affected by hurricanes and tropical storms.

In order to help prepare residents and Longboat Key Chamber of  Commerce members, the chamber and Town of Longboat Key are hosting their 17th annual Disaster Preparedness Seminar from 3:15 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 in the Harbourside Ballroom of the Longboat Key Club, 3000 Harbourside Drive.

This year’s seminar is themed “As the hurricane turns – surviving the unexpected.” Joby Smith, the Bay County Emergency Management division chief, will be the keynote speaker and will discuss what Bay County learned when Hurricane Michael, a category five storm, hit unexpectedly.

Loefgren said Longboat Key has never had to deal with an unexpected hurricane, which is why that is this year’s theme.

“This one (seminar) in particular is very important because of the way Hurricane Michael came in,” Chamber President Gail Loefgren said. “They were not really prepared for a (category) five.”

Manatee County Emergency Management Chief Steve Litschauer and Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane will discuss local lessons learned and review evacuation and reentry procedures.

Loefgren said she hopes residents will learn why county officials say to evacuate when they do from this presentation. Representatives from the Longboat Key Fire Rescue and Police Department will be there to talk about reentry and evacuation on the island specifically.

Additionally, Town of Longboat Key staff members will be present to answer questions and various exhibitors and vendors will be there with their products related to disaster preparation and recovery.

After the seminar, there will be appetizers from the Longboat Key Club, a cash bar and complimentary beer from Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. During this time, attendees can mingle with the vendors at their tabletops.

Reservations can be made by calling the chamber at 383-2466. The first 125 pre-registered guests will receive a non-alcoholic hurricane drink, goody bag and ticket for the door prize drawing.

Those who wish to attend can also register at the door the day of the event.

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I’m Katie. I’m the Longboat Observer community editor, which means I cover all people, places and things pertaining to Longboat Key. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with degrees in journalism and Spanish. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 364.

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