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Pinellas County to Host Hurricane eTownHall

With the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season entering its most active phase, many residents have questions about preparing for storms. That's why Pinellas County is hosting eTownHall: Surviving the Storm 2011, beginning Sept. 6, with the live video portion scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

This live, interactive online blog and video hurricane preparedness discussion will feature a number of subject area experts to answer questions and provide valuable information. The panel includes:

  • Sally Bishop, director, Pinellas County Emergency Management. Bishop has more than two decades of emergency management and preparedness experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Pinellas County and has a strong planning and recovery background.
  • Robert Ballou, division chief of Emergency Preparedness and Management, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue. Ballou has more than three decades of service with the fire department, and is responsible for the supervision and administration of the city’s emergency management program, including plans and procedures for natural and manmade disasters.
  • Lynne McChristian, Florida representative, the Insurance Information Institute. McChristian joined I.I.I. in 2008 and had previously worked with USAA Insurance for 15 years, where she handled both internal and external communications.
  • Dan Noah, warning coordination meteorologist, National Weather Service, Ruskin. Noah has 21 years of experience as a National Weather Service meteorologist. He has eight years of experience forecasting in Florida and was part of the NWS survey team sent to evaluate damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008.
  • Tom Iovino, hurricane preparedness specialist, Pinellas County Communications, who will moderate this event. Iovino has provided emergency management public information support since 1998 and is the county’s official spokesperson for disaster preparedness.
The blog is scheduled to open at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to allow participants to ask questions early. When possible, experts will answer questions via the blog during the week as well as during the live video event. Citizens can participate in the eTownHall event at or watch the event live on PCC-TV on Bright House channel 622, Knology channel 18 or Verizon channel 44.

For more information about how to prepare yourself and your family for hurricanes, visit Pinellas County Emergency Management to find your evacuation level, learn about storm dangers and discover how to create your own disaster plan.