Vikki, PR/Media Relations
To borrow a sentiment from my friend Gail in Customer Care, ‘I love my job!’ I mean, how do you not love something that provides really cool opportunities like visiting the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, where I was on Tuesday to hear science, technical, and administrative specialists talk about their forecast predictions for the 2010 Hurricane Season?
As you may have heard, this year’s hurricane season which runs June 1 through November 30, is expected to be extremely active as experts predict a potential 8 to 14 hurricanes and 3 to 7 major hurricanes (meaning winds of at least 111 mph). Impressive and a bit intimidating to say the least, much like the NHC itself where we were ushered into a multi-sectioned, multi-purpose suite to speak with NHC Director Bill Read about the importance of public preparedness, and Storm Surge team leader Jamie Rhome about the El Nino and La Nina influence on sea surface temperatures.
In no time at all, I became a self-proclaimed groupie of both these brilliant men, but it was the facility itself that truly had me in awe. At the center of the room in front of the largest world map I’ve ever seen was the NHC media desk where Center spokespeople routinely provide in-studio and satellite television interviews. While I was there, both Bill and Jamie spoke from the desk to local news channel 10, The Weather Channel, and even a Russian media crew, as a nearby flat screen flashed with colorful swirling images of tropical activity.
In another section of the multi-purpose room, rows of computer monitors stood like sentries around the perimeter while meteorologists Jeff and Rick quietly monitored the weather data stemming from a constant flow of 3-D images, shifting grid patterns, and moving color blocks that no amount of explanation could make clear to me. And just in case I forgot where I was (not likely), massive National Hurricane Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logos adorned almost every wall, striking reminders that I was standing at the very epicenter of hurricane central.
Too soon our visit there was over. We’d done what we came to do which was to pre-record a segment on hurricane travel insurance for the nationally syndicated “Travel With Stephanie Abrams” radio program. About twice a month, InsureMyTrip President, Jim Grace and Stephanie chat about all things travel insurance, from plans and benefits to coverage for current events like erupting volcanoes and decimating oil slicks. Listen to the show this coming Sunday, June 6th from 6 to 9 P.M. on the Business Talk Radio Network and hear what Jim has to say about protecting your travels through the upcoming hurricane season. I guarantee, just like the National Hurricane Center, it will blow you away!