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[transport-communications] Communication w/Tourists During Hurricane Threat

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  • I95BERNIEW@aol.com
    Keys Tourism Council Helps Emergency Management With Visitor Safety If Hurricane Threatens KEY WEST, Florida Keys--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 1, 1999--The Monroe
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 1999
      Keys Tourism Council Helps Emergency Management With Visitor Safety If
      Hurricane Threatens

      KEY WEST, Florida Keys--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 1, 1999--The Monroe County
      (Florida Keys) Tourist Development Council (TDC) has developed a unique
      relationship with the Keys Emergency Management office to assist efforts in
      evacuating visitors in the event of an approaching hurricane.

      The program, successfully tested in September 1998 prior to Hurricane
      Georges impacting the Lower Keys and Key West, involves several
      communications links to most Keys accommodation offerings, transportation
      companies and area media to provide advance warnings in the event an
      evacuation is ordered.

      In the Keys, visitors and other nonresidents are the first groups of
      people asked to leave as part of the area's hurricane plan.

      The TDC also helps to survey and communicate exit transportation options
      for visitors; provides a toll-free, multilingual visitor help line and
      provides staff support for the emergency management office before, during and
      after a storm.

      "Typically, many tourism offices bury their heads in the sand and hope
      to God a hurricane doesn't hit them," said Harold Wheeler, the TDC's
      marketing director. "But we realize that hurricanes are a reality and we've
      taken steps to help Keys Emergency Management officials deal with the task of
      temporarily closing the destination if a storm threatens.

      "We want visitors to be comfortable when visiting the Keys, even during
      hurricane season, and make them aware the tourism council is concerned for
      their safety," Wheeler said.

      Monroe County Emergency Management Director Billy Wagner lauded the
      TDC's assistance and support.

      "They provided a tremendous service during Hurricane Georges and
      combined with a cooperative tourism industry, helped to avoid loss of life
      and minimize injuries," said Wagner, emphasizing there was not a single death
      directly related the storm. "The TDC's post-storm efforts also helped the
      Keys achieve a speedy economic recovery."

      Hurricane season began Tuesday, June 1, peaks in September and
      officially concludes November 30.

      CONTACT:

      Stuart Newman Associates, Miami
      Andy Newman, 305/461-3300 or 1-800-ASK-KEYS

      or

      Monroe County Emergency Management
      Billy Wagner, 305/289-6018

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