Volume 3 Number 28
July 10, 2006

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CFO Gallagher and Cecilia Patella of Hernando County Emergency Management, above.
Scott Jager, President/Founder, Christian Contractors Association, speaks with CFO Gallagher 
CFO Gallagher and Linda Smart, Outreach Coordinator for the Tampa Service Office of DFS.

Gallagher Visits Hernando County Hurricane Expo at Weeki Wachee Springs

On Saturday, June 10, Weeki Wachee Springs, a small historic water park in the City of Weeki Wachee, hosted the Third Annual Hernando County Hurricane Expo: Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared. 

CFO Tom Gallagher joined over 8,000 guests from neighboring counties who visited the park for information, services and products available to them for disaster preparation.  Over 40 vendors for home retrofit products and personal disaster preparedness were available to attendees.  The Expo also offered special activities for children as well as door prizes and other free items from vendors.

This was the largest attendance of any Hurricane Expo in the area.  The Expo performances and presentations were scheduled around the park’s regular show times, including the world famous Underwater Mermaid Theater.

The Expo was organized by Hernando County Emergency Management and their planning committee, which included representatives from DFS.  Sponsors of the Expo included Weeki Wachee Springs, WFLA Channel 8 and Hernando Today/Tampa Tribune, American Hurricane Specialists and Coastal Hurricane Shutters.

The Keynote Speaker was Storm Team 8 Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve.  Guest musical performance was by American Idol Melissa McGhee.

The Expo also featured classes and information on hurricanes, insurance issues, power restoration, generator safety, new flood maps, CERT teams and caring for your pets before, during and after a storm.

There were displays from Bayflite Trauma Helicopter and the Sheriff’s Marine and Aviation Units.  In addition, there were demonstrations by the Hernando County HazMat Team, Spring Hill Fire Rescue Urban Search & Rescue as well as the Brooksville Fire Rescue Department.  Attendees had the opportunity to experience a hurricane simulator with wind speeds up to 75 mph which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.

DFS was provided a booth which was staffed by Community Outreach Program Coordinators Linda Smart and Karen Bolin.  Richard Hibbs, Tampa Service Office Manager conducted the presentation on Insurance Issues.