HURRICANE –The inaugural “Hurricane Awareness and Preparedness Expo” made education its main theme Saturday teaching the public emergency preparedness and the duties of law enforcement while its neighboring event, the “6th Annual Because Animals Matter Dog Day Spectacular,” entertained and educated all for the benefit of pooches and public alike.
The Preparedness Expo brought together several agencies, including the Utah Highway Patrol, Washington County Search and Rescue and SWAT teams, Utah State Parks, the Hurricane Valley Fire District, Hurricane City and LaVerkin City police departments. All were on hand to educate the public and answer questions.
Local children were able to get photos taken and fingerprints done with the help of the Hurricane High School cheerleading squad. The activity was to help parents put together child identification kits that hold essential information that may needed in emergencies.
Sophomore HHS cheerleader Faith Johnson said there had been a steady stream of children at the booth all day.
The Hurricane Police Department’s bike rodeo was popular with children seeking one of the 40 free helmets that were being given out at the event. This activity gave local children an opportunity to interact with police while officers made sure their bikes were safe. Officers also taught the kids safe biking via a safety course they had created.
Washington County Search and Rescue set up a free climbing wall operated by local youth who are part of the department’s Explorers program.
Inside the community center many local preparedness vendors were on hand selling emergency preparedness products. Vendors also educated expogoers on food storage planning and preparation, emergency sanitation, backup power, and what to do during an emergency, such as turn off power, water and gas to one’s home.
Administrators of Hurricane’s Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, were available to educate residents on community preparedness. CERT will hold a community emergency preparedness drill on Sept. 12.
Adjacent to the expo on the Hurricane Community Center’s north lawn was the BAM’s Dog Day Spectacular. People learned how to treat animals and got to watch dogs in action – catching frisbees, jumping hurdles, and completing an obstacle course – in three different venues.
Hurricane City Police Sgt. Brandon Buell said the Hurricane City Police Department was initially hesitant to hold its expo on the same day as the Dog Day Spectacular but it actually worked out well having the two events simultaneously as they mutually benefited both organizations.
The Dog Day Spectacular included many different pet-friendly vendors – dog groomers, pet cremation experts, natural dog food distributors, pet boarders and even a retailer of pieces of artificial turf for dogs to “do their duty” on.
The Hurricane Animal Shelter, St. George Animal Shelter and BAM were on hand to offer dog adoptions as well.
What drew the most crowds were dogs and their owners performing, especially in the FUNgility obstacle course.
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