Whether you're new to Florida or a lifelong resident, hurricane preparedness is important every year. Recognizing this, the National Weather Service designates one week per year to educate people in hurricane-prone areas about the dangers of hurricanes and how to prepare for them.
National Hurricane Preparedness Week is generally held in May, just before the start of the hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico on June 1st.
The week — previously called Hurricane Awareness Week — was renamed in 2004 to emphasize the importance of being prepared in order to reduce the damage from a hurricane.
Seven Days Of Hurricane Awareness
During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, each day focuses on a specific topic, including:
Day 1 — Hurricane Basics
Since hurricane hazards include storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents, Florida residents need to know what to do in the event of these dangers. Boaters need to take special precautions, as well.
Day 2 — Storm Surge
A storm surge is the offshore rise of water, caused when high winds push on the ocean's surface, which piles the water up higher than ordinary sea level and forces it onto land. These are often the greatest threat to life and property when a hurricane hits.
Day 3 — Wind
Hurricanes are categorized based on wind speed, making it crucial to know about. When winds exceed 74 miles per hour, they become increasingly dangerous. Certain types of damage are expected to occur with every 20-mph increase, up to 155 miles per hour.
Day 4 — Inland Flooding
Storms can drop huge amounts of rainfall miles inland to produce devastating floods in areas far from the site of the storm's landfall, resulting in a number of hurricane deaths that result from this post-storm effect far from the shore.
Day 5 — Forecast Process
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) uses satellites, reconnaissance aircrafts, and other land- and sea-based platforms to track and predict tropical cyclone activity in the Eastern and Pacific basins around North America.
Day 6 — Get A Plan
Well before a hurricane poses a viable threat, you should have a plan to make it through the storm, whether you stay in your own home or must evacuate to another location. You should become familiar with your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and emergency shelter locations. You also need to know how to prepare and secure your home.
Day 7 — Taking Action
When a hurricane hits your area, you'll need to put your preparedness plan into action. Hurricane warnings are usually issued 48 hours before the storm hits, so have an emergency preparedness kit ready to use in case the storm materializes. Then you can quickly and efficiently prepare your home to weather it.
Always Prepare for Hurricane Season
Even when hurricane analysts anticipate that some years may be quiet, as they see signs of fewer tropical storms during those years, it’s still important to prepare. Since 1950, a typical year's forecast includes 12 tropical storms, with seven of them becoming hurricanes, meaning that winds will rise to over 74 miles per hour. There is also no guarantee that the forecast of a quiet year will be accurate, as predictions aren't always perfect.
As meteorologist Philip Klotzbach of Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project notes, "It only takes one landfall event this year to make this an active season." That's true every year, making preparedness key to the protection of life and property.
Know Your Hurricane Preparedness Options Today
Now is the time to prepare for hurricane season and make changes to your home to ensure it's ready to withstand a storm. If you have any doubts, call Storm Solutions and schedule an appointment — we can check your impact windows, hurricane shutters, screens, and other protections. We're also here to help you add more barriers if necessary, to make your home even stronger. Now is also a good time to put Storm Solutions on your list of important numbers, in case you need storm repairs after a hurricane.
If you live near Naples/Marco Island, Fort Myers/Cape Coral, or Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda, check out our website for information or give us a call today, at (239) 288-2807. We're here to help you protect what matters!