A group of Floridians who volunteered Sunday to greet Iowa delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa downplayed the idea severe weather would do much to dampen the experience for Iowans.
Tina Skipper, of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, said the Gulf Coast is prepared for hurricanes and the torrential rain that can accompany tropical storms.
“A lot of people get really frightened, but most areas have a good disaster system going on and they’re really in good hands,” Skipper said. “They should not be that afraid.”
Cancelling the opening day of the convention was “the smart thing to do,” according to Skipper. The Iowa delegation’s hotel is about an hour’s drive from the convention hall in Tampa. The name of the establishment is Sunset Vistas Beachfront Suites and it’s on Treasure Island. The hotel sits along the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. Christine Biermeier works as a nurse at a nearby hospital and she volunteered to greet Iowans on Sunday morning. She’s not interested in joining Iowans who may go out on the beach to see the storm roll in across the Gulf.
“I’m not a thunder and lightning person, so I’ll stay home,” Biermeier said, with a laugh before adding a pleasant, “thanks” for the invitation to watch the storm.
The hotel distributed a tip sheet of safety precautions to guests, including advice to close the drapes if the winds in the area become fierce, but noting the windows and doors are “hurricane rated.” In a telephone briefing for thousands of reporters on Sunday evening, convention organizers said they had rearranged the speaking schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.