Tropical Storms, Delegates, Protesters and More: Preparing an EOC for a National Political Convention [Free Webinar]

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The convention in full swing. Photo: RNC Flickr

A tumultuous event with twists and turns both before and during, the 40th Republican National Convention was held several weeks ago in Tampa and ACP’s Steve Elliot had a unique ring-side seat for the event.  Elliot, the Corporate Director of Membership and Programming for the Association of Contingency Planners, helped staff the City of Tampa’s Emergency Operations Center as the City’s Business & Industry Liaison.

During this 45-minute webinar (register here) find out what they planned for, how they planned for it and – most importantly – how they responded to the unexpected to ensure that each stakeholder made it through to the other side.

Says Steve, “Even though the city had worked with the county, state and federal officials for almost two years in preparation for the convention, it still came as a bit of a shock when we saw Tropical Storm Isaac make the turn up into the Gulf of Mexico just days before the convention was to start.  We had certainly considered the possibility of a storm hitting Tampa during the convention – after all, this was August in Florida – but there’s always a difference between a drill and a real-life experience.

Hurricane Isaac on August 28th having bypassed Florida while still a tropical storm. Image: NASA

Isaac’s potential impact on the convention and the city was just one of the unexpected events for which preparations were made.  During the convention itself, Steve fielded numerous calls from area businesses and disseminated information between Tampa Police, Fire, Code Enforcement, Transportation, Coast Guard, Tampa Electric and the private sector as various events unfolded around the city.  Steve continues to say, “We did everything in our power to keep everyone informed and share our resources. We watched the various marches and breathed a big sigh of relief on Friday morning as everyone packed up and left Tampa.

“I’m now able to look back and realize that only two people were arrested during the RNC for convention-related offenses. The City of Tampa suffered no damage – unlike other cities such as Minneapolis, Seattle and Chicago. Our proactive strategy worked and we kept everyone in the business community informed during the convention. It was a major win-win for Tampa!”

Register now to attend and we’ll see you on the 16th.

The ESF-18 team with City and County officials. (Standing left to right) Preston Cook, Emergency Manager, Hillsborough County, FL; Lon Guarino, Manager Internal Security, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation; Chief Thomas Forward, Fire Chief / Emergency Manager, City of Tampa; Chauncia Willis, Emergency Coordinator, City of Tampa; Brandon Edwards, Assistant Vice President Business Continuity & Security, GTE Financial. (Seated left to right) Alberto Bermudez, Security Officer, Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation; Steve Elliot, Corporate Director of Membership & Programs, Association of Contingency Planners. Photo: Steve Elliot

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