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Local News

Okaloosa County to host Hurricane Preparedness Expo

Shalimar, Florida – In anticipation of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Okaloosa County is stepping up its community preparedness with a unique event dubbed “Florida’s Greatest Hurricane Preparedness Party.” This informative and engaging expo is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2024, at the Okaloosa County Administration Building, located at 1250 N. Eglin Parkway in Shalimar, and will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is designed to be both educational and fun, providing essential information to help residents prepare for hurricane season.

Engaging the Community in Disaster Preparedness

The expo, free and open to the public, aims to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for hurricanes and other disasters. “This event is a reminder that we all need to remain vigilant as hurricane season approaches and make preparations now, instead of panicking when it is too late,” said Paul Mixon, Chairman of the Okaloosa County Board. He encourages families to use this opportunity to formulate a solid emergency plan for their households and learn about the extensive preparations that local agencies undergo to respond to such significant weather events.

Attendees of the expo will enjoy a variety of activities and giveaways, including free custom tote bags for the first 100 attendees, sponsored by Keep Okaloosa Beautiful. Additionally, there will be 2024 Hurricane Guides distributed, along with food trucks, and the presence of local agency first responders, utilities, businesses, and county and municipal departments.

Read also: Okaloosa County continues to excel in severe weather preparedness, StormReady status reaffirmed by National Weather Service

Expert Presentations and Resources

The event will feature presentations from local experts who will discuss crucial topics such as how to prepare your home, family, and even your boat for a storm. There will be a focus on adopting a mindset geared towards following appropriate sources of storm information and treating every storm with the seriousness it deserves, regardless of its category number or status.

Highlighted speakers at the event include Patrick Maddox, Okaloosa County Director of Public Safety. With a rich background in law enforcement and emergency preparedness, Maddox has served in Incident Command roles during major hurricanes, including Katrina, Irma, and Michael. Another featured speaker, Laura Hussey, is a Morning News Anchor at WEARTV Channel 3 with over 25 years of experience in broadcasting. Her career includes coverage of significant events like 9/11 and various Gulf Coast hurricanes, making her insights invaluable to the discussion.

Learn More and Get Involved

Residents interested in attending can RSVP for the event online. For those seeking more information about storm preparedness, resources, including this year’s Hurricane Guide are available on the Okaloosa County emergency management website.

As hurricane season approaches, Okaloosa County’s Hurricane Preparedness Expo stands as a critical initiative, arming its residents with knowledge and resources to ensure safety and resilience in the face of natural disasters.

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