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June 18, 2009 by Barbara


The room was full…the seats were filled….the coffee,  pastries and fruit were abundant …the raffle table was loaded…and everyone was welcoming and warm to once again prepare for hurricane season….courtesy of our local LBTS Chamber of Commerce!…

We began with Chamber President Paul Novak welcoming everyone and acknowledging the great turnout (8 am)…and opening with ” I guess they had a meeting last week (Town sponsored hurricane seminar … and I guess they all overslept! ……

Paul thanked Ace Hardware,Publix ,CVS and Staples for participating and donating raffle items…He thanked the Chamber members who donated the food…and acknowledged the Mayor and Chamber Board members…He said they do this meeting every year …..adding that when he asked Chamber Executive Director Judy Swaggerty why, she replied “because we should”…and he said “she’s right”!…

Judy Swaggerty came to the podium to address the hall and said “He’s a great president”  added a thank you to Diane Boutin for donating also and the she introduced “our great Chief, What would we do without Chief Gooding?”…

LBTS-BSO Chief Scott Gooding said this was his 5th year speaking …and he pointed out the BSO Lieutenants standing by the food table in the back saying in that time they had gone from donuts to croissants…He went on to describe the plan the BSO uses a 12-14 page plan for the town …a detailed plan that is followed like a military plan…of “what ifs”…Before the storm the news media will keep you informed it’s their “Superbowl of weather”…Have a written plan both personal and business …a copy of the BSO- LBTS is available upon request[email protected]…The Sheriff’s office follows the weather …watching and following whatever mode is called for…They have supplies (MREs ... ….One change no more ice…it was decided ice was not important…and it wasted millions of dollars in the past…Stockpile water ….Schedule employees in shifts…Keeping informed…Let the BSO know if you’re leaving (businesses)…and link up with the Cybervisor for the alerts ……Have 5 days of supplies….They have a critical response team …a team of deputies that go out and take care of their employees homes in the event of damages so the officers on dutty can concentrate on their job in the community…When the weather warning is a mandatory evacuation the bridge is not locked up…it is locked down after the boat flotilla time is over…The Sheriff’s office will join the other safety providers when the winds reach a sustained MPH that stages them all at Holy Cross Hospital…Residents are advised to leave…to go west of US 1 and to not anticipate coming back until FPL has given the all clear…and the area is safe…Residents with pets or special needs are advised to find the appropriate shelters…and can always call Broward County at 954-831-4000…or go to the Broward County Hurricane site……..If you decide to stay …Chief Gooding advises to have a black marker in your hurricane stash…and to mark your arm with your name so they have identification if the storm you stayed for is fatal…After the event…and the all clear there will be a checkpoint on the bridge to re-enter…He recalled fights at gas stations…adding for residents to decide if they really need to drive…(no)….He touched on the Mayor’s question to Lt. Cedeno at the Town Hurricane Seminar (prev. post)… for different colored door hangers…saying the idea was brought up a few years back…but he shot it down due to it deterring residents from evacuating…He spoke of Points of Distribution (POD) and LBTS …He answered a few questions …

Judy Swaggerty introduced Channel 4 Meteorologist Craig Seltzer  who she said was a graduate of Oklahoma University and chased tornadoes before hurricanes…Craig came forward to relay the e-mail he received to come and speak and that Channel 4 loves LBTS…thanking the Chamber for the invitation…He spoke also of evacuating …just west of US1 …outside the evacuation zone and not traveling too far recounting past hurricanes that brought the danger to Orlando (the destination of choice for many) …He reflected on his interest from a young age in the weather with Midwest thunderstorms that while frightening to his mother presented him with “the ultimate challenge”… forecasting…In the 11th grade he sent a letter to a T.V. station meteorologist telling him of his interest in the weather and calling the weatherman on a forecast “he blew”…The meteorologist called him…He spoke of his education…and being in Tampa before coming here 9 1/2 years ago…In hurricane mode he is on the 1 am- 1 pm shift …He also spoke of doing everything to prepare 1 day before everyone else…and having a land line……He reflected on Andrew in 1992 after saying that this will be a below average season ….after asked about Andrew he explained that type of hurricane is from more disruption in the ocean than the atmosphere…explaining it by using a football analogy…getting through the blockers and tacklers to the goal line…He was asked about his blog…which he said he began in 2004 after phone call and an e-mail list that grew…He said he updates it 2-3 times a day and goes into more in-depth content…... …..An Assistant from Congressman Klein’s office was in attendance and spoke about the analogue TVs no longer being viable …Mr. Seltzer responded…his concern as well for those who will be out of touch with the news due to the changeover…He added they are working on a clip that might be available soon that hooks up to a converter to help all those who cannot afford the newer digital portable TVs at $120-$140…The Assist. to Cong. Klein  also added the need for a cellphone car charger as many live without land line phones now…Paul Novak asked about storm surge and the real need (or not) for flood insurance…We live at 12 feet above sea level on the coast…Paul wondered about the need to have it…Mr. Seltzer said Bill Reed the Hurricane Director has said “every year you may write a check, the one year you get it (storm surge-flood), you’ll be glad you wrote it.”…He went on to explain the difference between storm surge on our coast as compared to others…saying we have the possibility of a 20 ft. storm surge …and wherever it come is in it will be a quick event due to the slope of the coast and only 10 miles of the beach (as opposed to 50 )….occurring just as the eye crosses within 2-3 minutes…He also spoke of the tropical storm winds that do not make landfall within the “cone”...…. center …66% of the time or 2/3 of the time…so if we are not in the cone (no longer using the skinny black line) don’t let your guard down…The Assist. to Cong. Klein also spoke of gas stations and publix having generators (avail. info in Broward link above)…This writer added in jest that the LBTS Publix has a generator installed after Wilma…and since then no hurricanes have come our way….sort of the opposite of washing your car …and then it rains…….Meteorologist Craig Seltzer responded in jest that meteorologists say “They should take all the mobile homes to Arizona, then the hurricanes will go there!”…TOUCHE’….He finished off answering a few more questions and then assisted the Chamber in calling out the raffle winners from the full basket of tickets….

BC- The Chamber Hurricane Preparedness Breakfast was a well organized, well run event …and that in itself is was a welcome sight to this writer who has attended and posted so many such events put on by the Town that were not!….

Next year….(please)…with the possibility in March of a new majority on the dais…and  a change in administration that will  work with the businesses in this town…there will be just one LBTS- Town/Chamber of Commerce Hurricane Preparedness Breakfast…..well organized,well run and televised…A guaranteed win-win for all!….. (Can’t get away from the politics…folks!)…

more to come….

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Here’s The Scoop…A Friendly Reminder…Come Support YOUR Chamber…

June 15, 2009 by Barbara

Wednesday    JUNE 17  8:00 AM
Registration 7:30 Jarvis Hall
4501 Ocean Drive, LBTS
Special Guest Speakers
WFOR/CBS4 Meteorologist
Hurricane items will be on display
Continental Breakfast courtesy of:
LBTS Chamber
Diner by the Sea
Sandra K. Booth
$5.00 Donation

Reservations needed by June 15/ Walk- Ins Welcome Without Reservations As Well!…
For more information Call (954) 776-1000
Don’t miss out!!….Support YOUR Chamber/ YOUR Local Businesses!

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