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Pinellas County Ready For Hurricane Season

May 31, 2016

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Wednesday.

On average, 11 named tropical storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes could happen during any given season.

During emergencies, Pinellas County assigns administrators to shelter sites.

Students in the Center for Advanced Technologies at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg have created a website to help the district keep track of shelter assignments and manage communications during emergencies.

As part of a class project, a nine member student team wrote code to populate a hurricane duty list in real-time.

Avinash Perera is one of the student developers. He says the website could potentially save lives.

"Because it ensures that in the event of a hurricane or any other emergency that every shelter has all the resources they need and that communications stays stable even if all our communication lines are knocked out by the hurricane,” he said.

Louis Zulli is the school's IT instructor. He says the district's procedures had become obsolete and difficult to manage.

“We've been able to make it easy for the district to take their hundreds of people that are needed to staff shelters; make sure that they are going to be able to be communicated with, to be able to be on site and to make sure they have the supplies needed to run that shelter.”

30 school buildings in Pinellas County could be activated as shelters, depending on the level of evacuation needed.