Humanities Series to present ‘Florida’s Hurricane History’ Nov. 9

Understanding hurricane history could help us survive the next disaster


Jay Barnes

Historian Jay Barnes, author of three books including Florida’s Hurricane History, contends that our knowledge and understanding of past hurricane events could help prepare us to survive the next great storm’s potential devastation. In a lively presentation supplemented by revealing images presented on The Emerson Center’s stage, Barnes will explore this perspective at the free Humanities Series lecture slated for Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 PM.

“No one knows when or where the next big storm will strike,” observes Barnes, “but we do know that eventually it will blast ashore somewhere and cause massive destruction — perhaps even greater than that caused by all previous storms. Since there is nothing anyone can do to alter that foreboding reality, the question is: Are we ready for the next great hurricane?”

Barnes is a recognized hurricane authority, having appeared on The Weather Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, MSNBC, The NBC Nightly News, National Public Radio, and others. His research; largely drawn from meteorological records, news reports, first-person accounts, maps, and historical photographs; spans the last four-and-a-half centuries, right up to today.

The Florida Humanities Series is presented by The Emerson Center at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vero Beach. This series of noteworthy speakers and performers offers presentations relating to Florida history, people, and culture. All performances begin at 7:00 PM. Admission to each event is free, although a goodwill offering will be solicited.

Upcoming Humanities Series’ programs include the Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society performing “Christmas and All That Jazz” on December 14, 2017. On January 11, 2018, Sean Sexton addresses the topic “Local Legends: The Sexton Family” as part of the Treasure Coast History Festival. Actor Ersula Knox-Odom will perform “The Voice of Mary McLeod Bethune” on February 1,  2018. Finally, local journalist Janie Gould will speak on “Global Events That Touched Florida: Great Depression Through Cold War” on March 29, 2018.

This series is sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council ( with funds from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs. Marine Bank and Trust Company provides additional funding.

Free admission is available on a first-come first-served basis. The Emerson Center is handicap accessible and is conveniently located at 1590 27th Avenue, on the SE corner of 16th Street and 27th Avenue in Vero Beach. For more information, contact the Emerson box office at 772-778-5249.

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