RNC has hurricane plan for 2012 GOP convention in Tampa

RNC partners with Tampa Emergency Management

TAMPA - The RNC is prepping for a 2012 August convention in Tampa. They are counting on 45,000 visitors, protestors, and even the possibility of a hurricane.

"We, of course, have done the statistical study of what goes on in regard to the hurricanes and that sort of thing. The probability is close to zero in regard to that," said Alec Poitevint, Republican National Committee.

Even so, the 2012 convention would be centered around downtown Tampa and Channelside -- in an evacuation zone.

"It's very, very likely that area will be impacted by some sort of storm surge were we to have a hurricane," said Chauncia Willis, Tampa Emergency Management.

Willis' job is to prepare the City of Tampa for a hurricane threat and to make sure convention visitors could get out with everyone else if needed.

"We would not do a regional evacuation and leave out the visitors that are coming in," she said.

Willis explained they're considering connecting with Convention visitors by registering cell phones for text or e-mail alerts.

The city's Chief of Staff also says they'll keep tight relationships with venues.

"We'll have a very, very strong working relationship with the staff at the St. Pete Times Forum, at the Convention Center, and the hotels so we will all be on the same page as far as those venues," explained Santiago Corrada.

Chances are it won't happen, but when you have a year like 2004, you prepare anyway.

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