Some Manatee County residents seemingly unconcerned about hurricane season

May 25, 2014 

Manatee residents talk about their preparations for hurricane season. Video by Kate Irby/Bradenton Herald.

BRADENTON HERALD

MANATEE

It's almost the 2014 hurricane season, and officials warn it's time to prepare. You'll find numerous tips in the special hurricane guide in Sunday's Bradenton Herald. Still, it's a challenge to find anyone around town who's worried.

Mark Alexander, a Realtor, says there's only been one bad storm in the 20 years he's been living in Bradenton. He doesn't believe there's a need to seriously prepare for hurricanes in Manatee.

"We don't have hurricanes," he said. "We have tropical storms at best."

But Alexander's attitude is not the one public safety officials want to encourage. Instead, the best time to start planning is now, even if there is no imminent threat and Manatee hasn't been threatened by a direct hit in years. The six-month storm season begins June 1.

Harold Glidden, who lived on Anna Maria Island before moving into Bradenton, says even on the island he hadn't seen anything too major in 30 years.

"There was one they said was going to be really bad, but we didn't think it was that bad," Glidden said.

Robert Peterson, a juvenile detention officer, has some items just in case, such as a hurricane kit. But he hasn't seen a serious hurricane come through Bradenton in the 51 years he's lived here.

Keith Davis, who has a second home in St. Petersburg and has a boat in the area, stores his boat and ties it down every hurricane season just in case. He plans to install shutters on his condo, but he isn't overly concerned.

Alexander admits he does have certain items such as a battery-powered TV and has a plan in case it does get bad.

But he summed up the general attitude residents had toward hurricane warnings.

"If it's a level one or a level two we'll party," he said. "If it's higher than that, we'd go to Atlanta."

-- Kate Irby, Herald online reporter

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