A collection of city and county officials, and storm experts, will be hosting the 2014 Hurricane Seminar on May 30 from 1-3 p.m.
Islanders are invited to attend the free seminar at BIG ARTS on 900 Dunlop Road to learn about storm preparedness and planning. Hurricane season in the Atlantic runs June 1 to Nov. 30.
Sanibel Emergency Management Technician Lance Henninger said experts will offer information on preparing properties before a storm, creating an emergency supply kit for families and their pets, and formulating a plan of where to go in case of an evacuation.
He said the city schedules a hurricane seminar every year because people are always moving on and off the island, and it's important to keep everyone updated on the most recent information.
The featured speakers include Dave Roberts, the city's weather consultant; Jim Bjostad, new manager of the Lee County Emergency Management Program; Sanibel Assistant Fire Chief Matt Scott; Harold Law, with the building codes department; Lt. William Dalton, the Emergency Management Director for the City of Sanibel; and Sanibel Police Chief William Tomlinson.
Each of the speakers will present information to the community and answer individual questions.
What: City of Sanibel 2014 Hurricane Seminar
When: Friday, May 30 from 1-3 p.m.
Where: BIG ARTS, 900 Dunlop Road
Details: Call 472-3111 or visit mysanibel.com
Although it's impossible to predict with any certainty how a hurricane season will unfold, reports from groups like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University offer some insight.
Based on a April 10 report from Colorado State University, the Atlantic basin will experience a below average activity. It's predicting only a 19 percent chance of a major hurricane reaching landfall on the Gulf Coast, while the average for the last century has been 30 percent.
While the science of storm tracking has improved, it still isn't perfect and islanders should remain vigilant with their preparation.
Everyone should ensure that they have a city-issued Hurricane Reentry Pass to be able to quickly get back on the island after any major storms. The last series released was 2012 and it's still valid. Residential passes are bright orange and commercial passes are blue.
Henninger said the 2012 passes will remain valid until the city decides to release a new series, an independent decision it makes every year. Hurricane passes will be available before and after the seminar on May 30.
The passes are also available all year long at City Hall, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and residents can find the applications online at www.mysanibel.com.