City of Tampa hosts Hurricane Preparedness Expo ahead of aggressive season

June 1 marks the first day of the 2024 hurricane season.

NOAA predicts we’ll see four to seven major hurricanes, either Category 3, 4 or 5 — with winds of 111 mph or higher, which is a sizeable increase from last season’s prediction of one to four major hurricanes.

"Know your zone, but also know your home. Know vulnerabilities in your home. Whether you can get those impact glass windows installed already, cleaning out gutters, things of that nature. Get that all done ahead of time to help mitigate the risk of damages if a storm does come to our area," City of Tampa Emergency Management Director John Antapasis said.

On Saturday, the City of Tampa hosted their 2nd Annual Hurricane Preparedness Expo at the Barksdale Senior Center in Tampa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

RELATED: Hurricane season begins June 1: Here’s what you need to know

Companies like Lowe's and Tampa Electric along with organizations like the Red Cross and the Florida Department of Health helped inform residents on every aspect of preparedness from pet care needs to drinking water.

"It's a big group effort here to get out this information to our residents. The Salvation Army has been giving out food. We've been giving out sandbags from our parks and rec department. It's a whole community effort here," Antapasis said.

Once you figure out your evacuation plan, be sure to assemble your hurricane kit, which should include water at least one gallon per person per day, non-perishable food, batteries, a weather radio, a flashlight, a first-aid kit and any medications you might need.

READ: Pinellas emergency management turns focus to residents who live on boats this hurricane season

For those with special needs or cognitive disabilities, special needs shelters will be ready to open if needed.

"We have nursing and other staff that can assist them while they're there, assistance with medication, wound care, monitoring their health and their status to where if something happens to that individual, then we can get them out of there quickly to an appropriate medical facility," Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County Director for Public Health Preparedness Ryan Pedigo said.

For more information on how to register for a special needs shelter, click here.

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