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The Start of Hurricane Season
While hurricane season officially begins Friday, June 1, there have already been two named storms that have caused rain and heavy winds in Florida. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will produce a normal number of storms – nine to fifteen tropical storms with four to eight becoming hurricanes. We wanted to take a moment to share information about hurricane preparedness and other useful resources to help your family prepare for the next hurricane or tropical storm.
If you hear about a potential storm cell approaching, be sure to watch and listen to your local news or log on to the National Hurricane Service’s website for updates and safety tips. Always remember that a hurricane watch is when a hurricane is possible, and a hurricane warning is when a hurricane is expected.
Here are a few tips to prepare for the 2012 hurricane season, which officially begins June 1 and ends November 30.
- Know your area and the evacuation routes. They are available on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Website.
- Have a plan to prepare your home and/or business with storm shutters or plywood. Bring items that could be picked up by the wind and break windows – like lawn furniture, toys, or trash cans – inside.
- Make sure you know where your home’s safe room is located. FEMA’s website details what a safe room should look like.
- Keep your automobile fully fueled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
- Be prepared to survive on your own for a few days. Assemble a disaster kit with a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, clothing, food, water, and prescription medications and needed medical supplies. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a good list of items to have at the ready.
- Know how to shut off utilities. Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating and air-conditioning system works. If you have any questions, contact your local utility company.
- Gather your personal documents – insurance policy information, emergency contact information, and any other vital documents – somewhere they can be easily located and ready to take with you should you have to evacuate your home.
Remember, if you need help or have questions, please contact any of our offices and we will do our best to help.
Some other useful resources:
- National Hurricane Center’s Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook
- The Weather Channel’s Hurricane Tracker
- Florida Division of Emergency Management
- Red Cross: What should I do BEFORE a hurricane?
- Red Cross: What supplies do I need?
- Red Cross: What should I do AFTER a hurricane?
- FEMA: What should I do BEFORE a hurricane?
- FEMA: What should I do DURING a hurricane?
- FEMA: What should I do AFTER a hurricane?