Tallahassee, Florida - Florida would cancel and hold the Republican National Convention later if a major hurricane tracks toward Tampa Bay at the end of August.
That's according to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll who attended a hurricane drill at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee on Wednesday.
Emergency workers are practicing that exact scenario right now. A fictitious storm named Hurricane Gispert makes landfall north of Tampa around Tarpon Springs and pushes a heavy storm surge into the bay and city.
In the practice drill, the Republican Convention was canceled.
Thousands of people are scheduled to travel to Tampa for the convention to be held from August 27th to the 30th.
Carroll says Florida is already talking with members of the RNC to go over all options if a hurricane forms at the end of August and threatens the Tampa Bay area.
Carroll says Gov. Rick Scott will have the final say on whether the convention should be postponed because of a storm. She says keeping people safe will be most important.
"Public safety. That's going to be the number one priority. We can have the convention again. It's in their mind it could be a reality and a decision will be made that we may have an interruption if this occurs. The public safety is number one."
It has been years since Florida has taken a direct hit from a hurricane, so emergency officials say they understand Floridians may have become more complacent about the dangers.
Florida Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon is urging you to have a disaster plan for your family.
"Hurricanes are bad. It's that simple, hurricanes are bad. But there are positive things that you can do as an individual and a family to help prepare yourself for those situations, things like making a disaster kit, having a communications plan with your loved ones, have an idea what your evacuation route is, where it is that you would go to seek shelter be it with friends or a hotel or family. Those positive things that you can do today to help prepare yourselves for that situation are going to make it much better if you have to implement it."
Your disaster kit should include a three-day supply of food, water and medicine, a change of clothes, a blanket or sleeping bags for each person, emergency tools such as a battery-powered radio, flashlight and batteries.
Also, identify a safe room in your house or a neighbor's home, plan escape routes from your home and places to meet. Know the location of a community shelter.
You can get more tips for your disaster kit and plan at www.floridadisaster.org. The state has also put together a child-friendly website at www.kidsgetaplan.com. It allows children to build their own disaster supply kit and play games to learn about weather and disasters.