June 10, 2006 — Carrabelle, FL WCTV Hurricane Town Meeting
On Friday, June 9, 2006, the North Florida Chapter participated in the first-ever WCTV Community Hurricane Town Hall meeting in Carrabelle, FL. Organized by WCTV Channel 6, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, the meeting was designed for local residents to meet with local officials and learn about their roles in hurricane forecasting, preparedness, and outreach, plus ask any questions they have relating to hurricanes in general. Located along the Big Bend coastline approximately 50 miles southwest of Tallahassee, Carrabelle and nearby locales were hard hit in 2005 by the unexpected storm surge from Hurricane Dennis.
Approximately 25 local residents were in attendance for the meeting. Speakers included the WCTV team of meteorologists, Mike McCall, Rob Nucatola, and Ray Hawthorne; Mel Kelly, the Mayor of Carrabelle; Bob Goree, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS office in Tallahassee; as well as representatives from the Capital Area Red Cross, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, Carrabelle and Franklin County Police Departments, the Franklin County Director of Emergency Management, and the insurance industry. In attendance for the North Florida Chapter were President Jessica Fieux and Vice President Clark Evans. Speaking near the start of the program, immediately after a presentation on hurricane forecasting and the storm surge from Hurricane Dennis by Bob Goree from the NWS, our presentation focused upon who we are as a chapter, our role in the community, and our task of teaching those in the community about the science behind hurricanes and their impacts.
Practically all aspects of hurricanes, from information dissemination to preparedness to the local response to a storm, were covered by the various speakers. The response within the community was very favorable, particularly with respect to the open floor for questions at the conclusion of the meeting. From the North Florida Chapter’s standpoint, it was a very productive meeting, allowing us to teach the basics behind hurricane tracks and the importance of conveying the right message of the science behind hurricanes to the public. The meeting also provided a forum to improve the visibility of our programs, not just within the community at large but within the professional community as well; many outreach possibilities in conjunction with the Capital Area Red Cross opened up as a result of our participation.
We are working to acquire pictures and video from the event in Carrabelle for dissemination on our website, http://www.northflams.org/. The next Town Hall meeting, the second of four scheduled, will be held on Friday, June 16th at 7pm in Perry, FL at the Taylor County High School Gym. Additional meetings will be held on Friday, July 7th in Thomasville, GA and Saturday, July 15th in Tallahassee, FL, the latter of which will also be the first annual Community Weather Day. Supporting materials from the Carrabelle and Perry presentations as well as general information about all of the Town Hall meetings may be found by visiting our website and clicking on the “WCTV Hurricane Town Hall Meetings” link at the top of the page. Additional information on our programs into the summer and fall will be made available via e-mail and our website over the coming weeks as we enter into our 5th chapter year.
For More Information: Jessica Fieux, firstname.lastname@example.org. Report submitted by Clark Evans, Vice President.