The first Hurricane Awareness Day was held to teach locals how to better prepare for a storm. The event, sponsored by the National Hurricane Museum outside the Lake Charles Civic Center, was held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Rita.
Hurricanes Rita, Katrina, Dennis and Wilma killed 3,483 people and caused more than $115 billion in damage, according to information provided by Megan Hartman with the Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
"Today, in 2015, the Louisiana Gulf Coast has not only recovered, but is thriving," Hartman said in a news release.
The event "will showcase exhibits and demonstrations by emergency responders, activities for families on lessons learned for better preparation, as well as celebrate the music, food and culture of the region," Hartman said. "Exhibition booths will demonstrate the latest technologies, run practice emergency response training, feature emergency transportation vehicles, and coordinate other weather preparedness related activities."
"It's focusing on being prepared, responding to what happens, learning from it, and moving forward," said Willie Mount, a board member of the National Hurricane Museum and Science Center.
It was also Emergency Responders Appreciation Day to show the public more than 40 emergency response vehicles and thank the men and women who work to protect the lives of others.
"For every person you see like me who's a leader, there's hundreds of others behind the scenes that are doing all this work and they don't get much recognition, so we like to get them out and get them some public recognition," said Dick Grimillion, Calcasieu Parish Emergency Preparedness Director.
The National Hurricane Museum and Science Center will share lessons learned from past hurricanes and save lives by teaching how to better prepare for the inevitable storms.
"This gives a venue that we can constantly offer hands on exhibits, new technology, digital learning, and it's something that's constantly moving and changing," said Mount.