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Steve Jerve to speak at Hurricane Expo

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Published:   |   Updated: May 23, 2013 at 03:20 PM

HOLIDAY - Steve Jerve, chief meteorologist for News Channel 8, will headline the free Pasco County 2013 Hurricane Expo on Saturday, June 8.

Jerve is expected to arrive by helicopter at the expo site, the J. Ben Harrill Recreation Center, 2830 Gulf Trace Blvd. Pasco County and The Suncoast News are presenting the 2013 event, with free admission and free parking.

Early forecasts predict a busy 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Last year, though, most storms steered away from Florida.
Jerve, however, would be the first to tell people that it takes only one storm to strike the area to ruin your year. He'll take questions from the audience about best ways to prepare.

When Jerve spoke at last year's expo, memories of Hurricane Andrew remained vivid even after 20 years. He recalled living through the ordeal in Coral Gables south of Miami while covering the emergency for an east-coast TV station.

"I was just north of that eye," Jerve recalled about Andrew. Gusts more than 200 mph blew a radar dish off the sixth floor of the building housing the National Hurricane Center. "It blew that . dish into the courtyard of the Holiday Inn where I was right next door."

A "gorgeous day" had preceded Andrew, Jerve said. But then night fell. The winds, and terror, increased dramatically.

"The roar, it sounded to me more like jet engines being roared for probably three or four hours outside the walls," Jerve said. "It was terrifying. You could hear the building coming apart" at the hotel where he stayed.

Jerve cautioned, "Don't think it can't happen to you." A major hurricane might not happen here in our lifetimes, or it might happen this year, he commented.

"I'm not one of those guys on TV that's trying to scare you," Jerve remarked. "I'm just trying to inform you. Information is power. Information helps us save lives."

Another speaker, Lynne McChristian from the Insurance Information Institute, is scheduled to share her insights on how to make sure a home or business is adequately covered by a policy.

Pasco officials also will be on hand to field questions, such as housing pets during a crisis.

Several dozen agencies typically participate by setting up booths. Vendors so far include Home Inventory Shield, Florida Forest Service, United Way of Pasco, Poison Information Center, Ierna's Heating and Cooling, American Medical Response, Home Depot, Professional Window Installation, AAA Insurance, Community Emergency Response Team, Tampa Bay Builders Association, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Pasco Master Gardeners and more.

City officials from New Port Richey and Port Richey will be on hand, along with staff members from Pasco Emergency Management, Pasco County Public Transportation and other county division and departments, including stormwater management, floodplain management, elderly nutrition, animal services, community development and planning and growth management.

For more information contact the Pasco County Office of Emergency Management at (727) 847-8137, send an email to oem@pascocountyfl.net or go online to www.pascoemergencymanagement.com.

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