How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Central Florida this Summer
Hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1st, through November 30th. Every state in the United States has its own particular climate and Florida’s tropical climate is prone to tropical storms and hurricanes.
August and September see the majority of hurricanes, and this information helps you to be ready and prepared. The U.S. government gives you tips on being ready for Hurricanes | Ready.gov.
While the thought of hurricane weather might give you pause, there are 22 million people who choose to live in Florida and have figured out how to navigate hurricane season. Just as with any weather condition, you can learn to prepare for this seasonal weather.
Have A Stock Of Supplies On Hand
One of the first things you should do to prepare for the hurricane season is to create a set of supplies. These supplies can be used in case you have a loss of power or if you have to evacuate to another area.
When there are approaching storms, people can tend to rush to get supplies ahead of the storm. If you already have the supplies, you can avoid the rush simply by planning ahead.
Here are some of the items that are recommended to have on hand:
Enough non-perishable food for a least 3 days
Water. Enough for at least 3 or more days
Extra prescription medications
First aid kit with all supplies
Personal hygiene items
Flashlights and batteries
Battery operated radio
Have your most important documents in a waterproof folder
Manual cash opener
Matches and lighter
Cooler and ice packs
Any items for special needs, such as baby or pet supplies
Secure Outdoor Items And Protect Windows
Hurricanes generate high winds, and those winds can carry objects that can do damage if they strike structures. Many homes in Florida have hurricane shutters. Those homes that don’t have shutters can use wood to cover the windows from the outside. The wood can be used each season.
You will have an advance warning of a hurricane coming, so stow outdoor furniture in the garage, along with anything else that might blow away in a storm. Bringing those items in will keep them from becoming projectiles in strong winds.
Prepare In Case Of Power Outages
As was mentioned before, you will have notice of advancing storms. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare as that will add an unnecessary burden to your situation.
If the power goes out at your home, chances are that the area you are in may also be impacted. That includes stores, gas stations, and other businesses.
To prepare, there are some steps you can take in case of a power outage:
Have your car full of gas and fill gas cans for a generator if you have one.
Have cash on hand as ATMs and banks may not have power. Stores may have items for sale, but only be able to accept cash.
Keep your mobile devices charged. If you run out of power, use them sparingly
Fill your bathtub with water. This water can be used for flushing toilets.
If you lose power, you will also lose air conditioning. Keep curtains closed to keep the heat out, or leave hurricane shutters in place.
Turn your fridge temperature down and freeze any food or drinking water if you expect a power outage. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has information about Freezing and Food Safety. Having ice packs in your freezer helps it to retain the cold. It is also important to know Food Safety During Power Outage. It is best to familiarize yourself with any outages. Print out the information so that it is available. You don’t want to be using valuable battery power to look this information up when there is an outage.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has good information on what to do when the power goes out.
Definition of a Cyclone
According to the National Hurricane Center and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a tropical cyclone is a rotating system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters. It has a closed low-level circulation. In the Northern Hemisphere, tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise.
NOAA classifies them as:
Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less
Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph
Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher
Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph
National Hurricane Center
In the United States, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is responsible for monitoring storms and hurricanes. Located in Miami, the center has advanced technology to detect the formation of tropical cyclones approximately 10 days in advance. This gives people in Florida the opportunity to know ahead of time and prepare.
The NHC also has suggestions on What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane. This site offers advice on strengthening your home, putting together an emergency kit, and preparing an emergency plan for your family members. NOAA also has a site for Hurricane and Tropical Storm Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Outlooks. They also have a site you can visit when a hurricane is imminent to see National Forecast Maps and up-to-date information about what you can expect.
As we stated before, there are over 22 million people who live in Florida. It is the third most populous state in the U.S., even ahead of New York.
Florida became a state in 1845, so people have been settled there for 177 years. During that time, Floridians have dealt with hurricanes. Over time, people learned how to plan and prepare for the eventuality of bad weather and hurricanes. And today, you can take advantage of lessons learned by those who came before you.
Over the years the advanced sophistication to predict and track hurricanes have given people the advantage to prepare and mitigate a hurricane’s impact. By following preparedness activities and being aware of when a hurricane is predicted, you will be able to “weather” the storm.