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Longboat Key disaster prep seminar set for June 5

Damages on Longboat Key after Hurricane Ian.
Damages on Longboat Key after Hurricane Ian.
File photo
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Mark your calendars for the town of Longboat Key’s 22nd Annual Disaster Preparedness Seminar on June 5. 

Following the theme of “Stay Informed and Be Prepared,” the event will feature Brian LaMarre as the keynote speaker. LaMarre is the meteorologist-in-charge with the National Weather Service in Tampa and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team Lead. 

The event is from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m., with registration from 3 to 3:45 p.m., hosted in the Longboat Key Harbourside Ballroom. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be provided.

According to a press release, there is a lineup of speakers to help attendees understand risks and how to prepare for storms.

Last year, the event drew a crowd of more than 100 people and featured speakers from local and state emergency management leadership. 

Also at last year’s seminar was Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce President John Lai, who showed a video of what the area looked like a month after receiving a direct hit from Hurricane Ian in 2022. 

In the presentation, speakers stressed the importance of evacuating if a hurricane were predicted to make a direct hit on Longboat Key. The message was that Longboat was lucky with Hurricane Ian and, if it made a direct hit, Longboat may have looked like Sanibel. 

The 2023 hurricane season brought Hurricane Idalia to Florida. Though Longboat Key didn’t receive a direct hit, the hurricane’s storm surge caused major flooding events around the island. 

Recently, the Climate Adaptation Center released its forecast for the 2024 hurricane season, which predicted 24 named storms and 12 hurricanes, with at least six major hurricanes. 

For this year’s event, the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce began promoting the event to businesses specializing in disaster planning and recovery. 

The chamber is still open to vendors and is offering vendor tables for $250. Vendors will receive recognition during the event, advertising on marketing materials and more. 

For more information about becoming a vendor or sponsor, the chamber can be reached at 941-383-2466. 

To RSVP for the seminar, call 941-383-2466 or email [email protected].



Carter Weinhofer

Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.

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