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Preparing for storm season

JUNE 1 - Preparing for and staying safe during a hurricane will be topics of discussion at a daylong series of seminars to be held in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The event, called Hurricane Expo 2006, is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, at Bluewater Books & Charts. Some of the topics of the free seminars will include how to prepare a boat for a hurricane and forecasting and tracking tropical storms. Bob Adriance, editor of BoatU.S.’s Seaworthy magazine, will lead a seminar reviewing BoatU.S.’s accident reports, going over a number of “worst case” scenarios.

“We think that the greatest need for information comes early in the season,” Bluewater co-owner John Mann says in a release. “People need time to prepare, and we hope that they will learn some things from this event that will help them. Of course, we hope that we don’t see another Katrina or Rita or Wilma, but we know from experience that it’s necessary to prepare for the worst.”

For the 2006 season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting 13 to 16 named storms, with eight to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which four to six could become ‘major’ hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher.A ‘major’ hurricane is rated Category 3 (111 to 130 mph winds) or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

A reception and question-and-answer session with the speakers will follow the seminars, allowing boaters one-on-one time to share storm stories and strategies. Special discounts will be offered on hurricane tracking charts, weather instruments and books on weather and hurricane preparation. For information call (954) 763-6533.

—Jason Fell