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Hurricane season starts June 1

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By Alice Du Pont

With the start of the 2013 hurricane season just a week away, Shawn Wood, director of Gadsden County’s Emergency Management Office, said the county is getting ready.
June 1 is the kickoff of the 2013-2014 hurricane season. On Saturday, the Emergency Management Office, the City of Quincy’s Anti-Litter Campaign and the Gadsden County School Board will partner for a day of information and enlightenment on the Courthouse Square from noon to 4 p.m.
The aim was to use that day and site for distribution of important community information.
“We’ve met with county officials and given a thorough briefing of where we are in terms of our readiness for the impending hurricane season. We’ve also met with the City of Quincy officials and held a tabletop briefing with them. Our plans are to meet with each municipality and explain in detail where we are on our readiness,” said Wood.
Throughout the year Wood, administrative assistant Tashonda Williams and EM Coordinator Red Cross liaison Col. Charles Brinkley have been attending trainings, conducting trainings and coordinating volunteers to make sure that citizens are as prepared as possible if a hurricane strikes the area.
“You cannot plan for everything that might happen because every storm is different. The thing is for us to be as prepared as possible and be prepared to be flexible so that we can handle anything problem that crops up,” Wood said.
This year is expected to be an active year with between three and six major hurricanes making landfall in Florida.
“We could get one in the early part of the season in June or we could get one as late as the end of November. And we may not get one at all. But we can’t depend on not getting one; it is our job to be ready and have elected and appointed officials and citizens as ready as possible,” he said.
Wood said citizens will be able to access a wealth of information concerning hurricanes and tornadoes and what they can do for personal readiness during the kickoff.