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Get Ready for Hurricane Season

Get Ready for Hurricane Season

If you live in Florida, June 1st is a date worth remembering. It marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The Weather Company and Colorado State University forecast is for 15 named storms, seven are expected to be hurricanes with three of them predicted to reach Category 3 status of higher. But warm water in the Atlantic Ocean could enhance and increase the number of storms.
More than 1,218 people move to Florida each day according to the U.S. Census, making the Sunshine State the fastest growing state in the country. Residents from New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California are flocking to Florida and although some of these states may be hurricane-prone, it’s essential for both new residents and those of us who have lived in Florida for years to look ahead and know how to prepare.

  1. Know the Difference Between a Hurricane “Watch” and “Warning”
A “Watch” means hurricane conditions are possible in the area. Hurricane conditions means sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. In most cases, meteorologists announce a Watch 48 hours in advance.
A “Warning” means hurricane-force winds are expected in the area. Warnings are usually issued 36 hours in advance to give people time to prepare and evacuate, if needed.
  1. Make an Evacuation Plan
Prepare ahead for a storm. Locate the shelter nearest to your home (including one that accepts animals for pet owners) and consider the different routes you can take to those shelters. If you have a family member with special needs, be sure to check with your county to see what shelters and other services are available. If you’ll stay in a hotel, call ahead to check on room availability, or consider staying with family or friends who live in an area away from the storm. Be sure write down emergency phone numbers and share your evacuation plan with your family and friends.
  1. Gather Supplies
Hurricanes can cut off power and water for days so you’ll need to have supplies for you and your family. When a storm is coming grocery, home improvement, and discount stores are inundated with customers so don’t wait until the last minute to get supplies. Consider stocking up on items throughout the year. The State of Florida encourages this by offering a 14-day disaster preparedness sales tax holiday on disaster preparedness supplies. It will be held May 27, 2023 – June 9, 2023.
Your supplies should include up to a week’s worth of food and water, medications that you and/or family members – including pets -take regularly (most insurance companies will allow you to refill a prescription before a storm), flashlights and extra batteries, cell phone chargers, personal items you might need, and important documents such as insurance policies, wills, birth certificates, passports, and personal identification. It’s also a good idea to have cleaning supplies, bleach, trash bags and heavy-duty work gloves on hand to use when it’s time to clean up after the storm passes. It’s also a good idea to get cash from your bank to have on hand after the storm. When the power goes out, ATMs and other ways of making electronic payment most likely won’t be available.
  1. Get Your Car Ready
Be sure your car has a full tank of gas and move cars or trucks into your garage or under cover. An emergency kit with jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, blanket, cat litter or sand (for tire traction) and a map is also suggested.
  1. Get Your Home Ready
Store any patio or yard furniture, bikes, grills and propane tanks in the garage or under cover. Be sure there’s nothing that can blow around during the storm and damage your home. Cover windows and doors with storm shutters or plywood to protect yourself from shattered glass.  Fill your bathtub and sink with water to use for washing and when using the toilet, and fill other water containers with drinking water in case you lose water supply during the storm. It’s also a good idea to check the batteries in your home’s smoke detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to be sure they are working and prevent CO poisoning.
During the storm, be sure to listen to your local news stations to stay updated, and listen to authorities if an evacuation is ordered. Staying safe during a storm is priority number one. For additional information, visit

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