Pinellas School System Wins Award at Governor’s Hurricane Conference
Pinellas County nominated the school district for the award.
PINELLAS COUNTY – The Pinellas County school system was awarded the distinguished service award Thursday (May 12) at the 30th Annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference.
The district was nominated by Pinellas County emergency management.
For more than 20 years, the county has partnered with Pinellas County Schools to use schools as hurricane shelters to help ensure residents have safe places to go when storms hit the Tampa Bay area. Even before the law required school districts make property available for use as shelters in the event of the a storm, Pinellas County Schools voluntarily opened their facilities as shelters in coordination with emergency management.
“This award is a much deserved recognition of the school board’s long-term working relationship and valuable contributions to Pinellas County’s emergency response capabilities,” said Sally Bishop, director of Pinellas County emergency management.
Pinellas County Schools provides shelter staffing and physical shelter space during hurricane events. The district has also implemented a new training program for shelter staff, helped in developing Pinellas County’s feeding task force and plan, participated in this year’s Great Tornado Drill and helped develop future emergency managers through the first responder program at Pinellas Park High School.
“Pinellas County Schools is committed to the safety of our entire community. As part of that commitment, it is critical for the school district to assist during severe weather emergencies,” said Clint Herbic, associate superintendent of operational services for Pinellas County Schools.
To further the efficiency of shelter operations, Pinellas County Schools’ students in the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School created a web-based communications portal to help the district keep track of shelter assignments and manage communications during emergencies.
The Governor’s Hurricane Conference, held May 8 to 13 in Orlando, is a week-long gathering of emergency and first responders that features training, seminars and activities to ensure all Floridians are prepared in the event of a severe weather emergency.
For information on hurricane preparedness, call Pinellas County Emergency Management at (727) 464-3800. For information about Pinellas County Schools, go to pcsb.org. For information about Pinellas County, go to pinellascounty.org.
Pinellas County | Pinellas Schools | Hurricane | Hurricane Shelter | TB Reporter
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