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Monday, May 3, 2010 - 12:52pm

Georgia Hurricane Conference Opens

Updated: 4 years ago.
(photo Bernt Rostad)

Public officials along the coast are learning what's new in hurricane planning for this year's Atlantic storm season, which begins in June.

The annual hurricane conference puts officials like Thunderbolt Mayor Anna Maria Thomas in touch with those who plan for storms all year.

"Because we need to be prepared," Thomas says. "We need to be prepared and know what we're doing."

Planning has focused on evacuating those who don't have their own vehicles and those with special medical needs.

Chatham County Emergency Management Director Clayton Scott says, a new federal mandate also requires a community evacuation plan for pets.

"Being a pet owner, I think that's real important," Scott says. "If you have a pet, you ought to take care of the pet."

The conference, in Savannah, attracts officials from all parts of the Georgia coast.

"This is by far the largest conference we've had yet," Scott says. "I'm very pleased with the turnout because we all have common interests."

Forecasters predict, warmer-than-average sea temperatures and a busier-than-average season.

Colorado State University researchers predict fifteen-named storms and four-major hurricanes.

The conference continues through Tuesday.

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