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HomeAt Home & BeyondHurricane & Safety Expo: Families Learn to Prepare

Hurricane & Safety Expo: Families Learn to Prepare

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How do you teach your children and families about the ominous threat of hurricanes in a way that is educational and empowering without being frightening? With hurricane season approaching, many parents are seeking the answer to this question–and the dynamic, family-friendly answer can be found at the 2024 #HernandoPrepares Hurricane & Safety Expo at Challenger K8, 13400 Elgin Blvd, Spring Hill, Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. This event is hosted by Hernando County Emergency Management.

“When you’re facing a hurricane, you need plans in place. Plans for your family, plans for your kids, plans for your pets, plans for your home,” said David DeCarlo, director of Hernando County Emergency Management. “At this event, you learn to make the plans.”

The event, attended by about 100 people last year, will feature a panel of local TV meteorologists and public safety displays, both offering expert information about hurricanes.

“Some of the panel experts will include Mike Clay, Bay News 9, as well as representatives of the National Weather Service and the University of South Florida, to give us facts about hurricane season,” said DeCarlo. “These are the people to ask.”

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Aside from this vital info, participating families will find much to like about this kid-friendly event, which also will feature vendor tables, freebies, a Hurri-Kids Zone, a touch-a-truck area, and more.

“Kids will have the chance to visit a smoke house activity with a fire extinguisher prop and will see a simulation model of a hurricane,” said Brittany Brooks, Planner of Emergency Management. “Through games, activities, and giveaways like hurricane preparedness coloring books, they’ll be learning on their level.”

“From the Tampa General Hospital helicopter to police and firetrucks, we’ll have vehicles on hand for kids to touch, climb, and pose for photos with,” said DeCarlo. “And in the Hurri-Kids Zone, we’ll have plenty of games and activities for children.”

“We want to make this fun for everyone,” he said.

Expo raffle prizes will range from the fun to the fundamental, with a free generator set to be raffled off after the meteorologists’ panel, hurricane preparedness buckets to be raffled, tickets to Tampa Bay Rays games and gift certificates to local grocery stores and businesses. No purchase is necessary and guests must be present to win.

The ultimate goal of the #HernandoPrepares Hurricane & Safety Expo is to empower Hernando residents to prepare for this summer’s storm season in a confident, assured manner.

“We need people to take hurricane season seriously and be prepared,” said Brooks.

“By becoming informed, people can alleviate their anxiety,” said DeCarlo. “We have so many resources here in Hernando County to help them. And at the expo, they can learn to help themselves.”

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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