If you have lived in Florida your whole life or at least part of it, you know that hurricane season will be blowing through very soon. As for new Floridian residents, you may not know the drill when it comes to preparing for this wet, windy time of year known as the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Although, unlike earth quakes, hurricanes can be tracked early enough for safe evacuation, it’s imperative to be prepared for the worst. So, how should you prep your family for hurricane season in Florida? Keep reading!
When Does the Season Begin and End? Hurricane season starts on June 1st and goes until November 30th, with the peak of the season being from early August to the end of October.
Can Hurricanes Be Predicted? Absolutely! When trying to predict how each year’s season may go, the NHC (National Hurricane Center) has the most up-to-date information on hurricane developments, forecast and weather alerts. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Hurricane Season Terminology: According to the article The Essential Guide to Hurricane Preparedness posted on the website StateOfFlorida.com:
- Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
- Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area.Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
- Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
- Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area. Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds.
- Eye: Clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
- Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye, contains some of the most severe weather of the storm with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
- Rain Bands: Bands coming off the cyclone that produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind and tornadoes.
- Storm Surge: An often underestimated and deadly result of ocean water swelling as a result of a land falling storm, and quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.
- Extreme Wind Warning/Advisory: extreme sustained winds of 115 mph or greater are expected to begin within an hour, immediately take shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
Safety First! Is Your Emergency Kit Properly Stocked?
According to the website StateOfFlorida.com your emergency kit should contain:
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and for if family members are separated
It’s important to remember that a warning is usually issued 36 hours in advance to when the hurricane is expected. This allows patrons enough time to properly prepare and evacuate their home if advised by the authorities. During this wait time, you may experience other mishaps such as an power outage. In case of a major power outage, always keep multiple flashlights nearby, withdraw extra funds in case the ATMs are not working, fill up your gas tank in your car, charge electronic devices (cellphones, laptops) and limit its use, fill the bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing, and make sure you have enough blankets to say warm in case it’s cold.
Lastly, Prep Your Home: StateOfFlorida.com advises that you do the following to secure your house:
Cover all of your windows, either with hurricane shutters or wood. Although tape can prevent glass from shattering everywhere, be warned that tape does not prevent the window from breaking. If possible, secure straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the structure of your home. Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear rain gutters. Reinforce your garage doors. Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else that is not tied down. If winds become strong, stay away from windows and doors and close, secure and brace internal doors.
Preparing for hurricane season is a tedious yet necessary process of living in Florida. Following these guidelines may help you and your family properly for an emergency and may be potentially lifesaving. Remember to always be aware of what is going on and to follow the advice of experts and the authorities — these people were trained to help you in those situations.
Best Fence hopes this tips were helpful for you and your family this Hurricane Season!
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SOURCES: http://www.stateofflorida.com/articles/hurricane-preparedness-guide.aspx (stateofflorida.com)