Monday, May 09, 2005

This year, more officials turn to hurricane conference

Source: Florida Today

Four hurricanes in one season made a difference: More public safety officials have registered to attend the annual Governor's Hurricane Conference this week than ever before.

"This is the largest hurricane conference on record, and we can safely say even in the country," spokeswoman Ann Rowe said. "We have folks coming from Hawaii, the Cayman Islands."

More than 2,600 people from 22 states and territories have signed up for the Tampa event. Usually, about 2,000 attend.

On Monday and Tuesday, the conference focuses on specialized training for emergency management and other public safety officials. Sessions include training in first aid, planning, debris management and decision making.

On Wednesday, the conference opens up to a more general session that includes speeches from Gov. Jeb Bush and top leaders for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Hurricane Center.

Friday's closing session includes the latest hurricane season forecast from William Gray, a professor at Colorado State University.

"We're just looking for a very comprehensive and great week," Rowe said.

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