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Hotdogs and Hurricanes

May 12, 2016
Community Members
Older Adults / Seniors
Popular Topics
Advance Planning

Our program goal was to inform and train area residents in terms of how to most effectively prepare for hurricane season, as well as other potential hazards. Planning began approximately three months before the program date. The planning team involved Programming Librarian Carole Hanna, Assistant Regional Librarian Ann Collins, and Library Associate Lisa Doig.

Steps taken during the planning process included: 

  • deciding on a theme and dates
  • reserving auditorium space and A/V equipment
  • selecting and inviting guest speakers
  • developing marketing materials
  • requesting giveaways from various county office and business sources
  • purchasing food for the event (hotdogs, chips and drinks)
  • developing an agenda for the day of presentation

The only unexpected challenge was estimating how much food to have prepared. Taking reservations could have been helpful.


To promote our workshop, we:

  • developed, printed, mounted and posted 24-by-36-inch posters at key places around the library
  • developed and sent out a press release from the Volusia County Community Information Division
  • posted the program on the Volusia County Public Library website calendar and featured it on the library system’s Facebook page
  • published the planning activity in the branch’s printed monthly “Happenings” publication
  • developed and posted 8½-by-11-inch fliers at several points around the library campus (View an example under Attachments at right.)
  • printed and distributed quarter page (8½-by-11-inch) handbills at service desks and flier bins at the front of the library publicity bins

2016 was the third year for the Hurricane Preparedness Workshop at the library. For 2015, the addition of the program subtitle "Hotdogs and Hurricanes" and door prizes added to the program’s success.

Budget Details

The Friends of Deltona Library provided funds for hotdogs, buns, chips, drinks, condiments and paper products, which added up to approximately $70.

Day-of-event Activity

Four people set up beforehand, served lunch and cleaned up after the event.

Two library staff members set up chairs in the library’s auditorium and also set up the audiovisual equipment for the workshop. Two Deltona Library staff members and two Volusia County Emergency Management staff members organized the literature and giveaways on tables. Audiovisual equipment was checked, hotdogs were prepped for cooking, and tables were set up with supplies for the lunch. These staff members also helped to clean up after the program. 

Program Execution

A total of 58 people attended the program, more than doubling the previous year’s attendance. With door prizes awarded between speakers and before lunch, attendees remained engaged. The library’s goal of offering an educational and informative workshop to local residents was achieved. 

At the conclusion of the program, staff requested that participants complete a survey to provide the library with feedback in order to identify the program strengths and weaknesses. The feedback was positive, with 95.8 percent of participants rating the overall quality of the program as “good to excellent.”


This was a fun, informative, inexpensive and much-needed program for Florida libraries.

It can serve as a replicable model for other libraries within Volusia County, for libraries across the state of Florida, and in libraries in other states that experience a similar ongoing need to prepare for potential natural or human-made disasters. 

While hurricanes are a local threat, this program could be easily adapted and modified to provide life-saving information for other types of emergencies such as tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, snow storms and brush fires that may be inherent to any given community. 

Short Title
Hotdogs and Hurricanes

VCPL’s Deltona regional branch hosted a 2015 Hurricane Preparedness program entitled Hotdogs and Hurricanes. The progam strived to prepare area residents for hurricanes and other potential emergencies in an all-hazards approach.

Elements that lent to the program's success included featuring a popular local meteorologist and TV personality, guest speakers from the Volusia County Emergency Management Office, and branch staff, with one of the branch’s bilingual staff delivering the annual message in Spanish. Additional features enhancing the program were the lunch, sponsored by the Friends of the Deltona Library, and the many relevant and practical giveaways donated by local business partners.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters

A Florida library encourages emergency preparedness at an informative and fun community get-together.