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Two nonprofit groups — Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Inc. (FLASH) and Plan!t Now — have announced the launch of a social media campaign to promote hurricane preparedness. The multilayered campaign, titled the Great Hurricane Blowout, is gearing up to inform the public and provide agents with a resource to help clients prepare for the June 1 hurricane season, the groups said. Their effort will involve the Internet and social media channels like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. Bloomington, Ill.-based insurer State Farm and Kohler Power Systems, a division of the Kohler, Wis.-based Kohler Co., are sponsors of the Blowout.

The program is featuring a June 1 “Dine in the Dark” evening where individuals, families and volunteers turn off their lights and prepare a meal without power. National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read was the first to pledge that he would join the Blowout campaign for this event. “We all know hurricane preparedness is important, but so many coastal residents have never experienced a hurricane. Many others deny that one would ever strike at all,” said Mr. Read in a statement. “The Great Hurricane Blowout offers ways to make hurricane preparedness an activity the whole family can embrace.”

The focus of the campaign will be fun and learning, FLASH said. Various experts will move participants through six phases of safety and preparedness leading up to the start of hurricane season on June 1. Individual plans will cover evacuation, supply kits, strengthening homes against storms, personal safety and other topics. Participants will also be encouraged to join affiliated nonprofits and be trained to provide volunteer support in the event a hurricane hits their community, FLASH said.

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