Hurricane season is underway and Port Manatee is ready.
In May, the port updated its Heavy Weather Plan, which provides guidance to port personnel to prepare and respond to heavy weather situations such as hurricanes, floods, tornados and thunderstorms. The goal of the plan, in the event of a heavy weather emergency, is to keep personnel safe, limit damages to port facilities and property and maintain or regain the port's ability to perform daily operations.
During hurricane season, June 1st through Nov. 30th, Port Manatee operates under the U.S. Coast Guard protocols, with all emergency equipment inspected and personnel prepared for severe weather events.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts this year's hurricane season will generate 12 to 18 named storms in the Atlantic Basin. Between three and six of the storms could become major hurricanes rated a Category 3 or higher, according to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
"In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
"It only takes one storm to wreak havoc if you are not prepared. It is better to be prepared and be a survivor instead of a victim," said Laurie Feagans, Chief of Manatee County's Emergency Management Division.