Whether you are looking to make South Florida your permanent home, or are planning a seasonal residency, during the summer months, you will find that we South Floridians make good use of governmental recommendations to prepare for hurricane season.
The good folks at the National Hurricane Center have their program, “Be Weather Ready!” Moreover, in a recent announcement, Representative MaryLynn Magar reminds us that Hurricane Season runs June 1 – November 30th.
Residents of our South Florida coastal communities have come to rely on the information provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This year, they have launched an extensive social media program, #ItOnlyTakesOne, to reach all residents that may be impacted during the June 1st – November 30th tropical weather season.
According to NOAA, the time to prepare is NOW!
What should you do to prepare for a hurricane?
Get a plan. The most important step is to identify your hurricane risk. Do you live in an evacuation zone? If so, you need to plan on where you and your family would ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate. Most people only need to evacuate a few miles from the coast to avoid the dangers of storm surge. Find a friend or relative that lives outside the storm surge evacuation zone and have a plan to ride out the storm with them. You should also establish a family communications plan in case you are not together when you need to evacuate.
Once a person understands their risk for hurricane impacts, an appropriate disaster safety plan should be developed to help ensure an individual’s and a family’s safety. A disaster safety plan is a comprehensive plan that identifies all of the steps a family needs to take before, during, and after a disaster to ensure maximum personal safety and property protection. For a step-by-step guide on creating a family disaster plan please see Florida’s “Get a Plan” guide. Citizens should also visit their State Emergency Management Agency websites for family disaster plan templates that may be more suited to a local area.
Coastal residents should go to their local emergency managers for evacuation zone information. This information is typically available on-line. A county-by-county list of evacuation zone resources is available at: http://flash.org/hurricane-season/evacuation-zones/Evacuation_Zone_Identification_Survey.pdf Vital resources to help you prepare include:
- Hurricanes.gov, which provides critical hurricane advisories and marine forecasts.
- Weather.gov for the latest forecasts for your part of the country.
- Ready.gov for additional preparedness information.
- National Hurricane Center Outreach Resources
- Weather-Ready Nation Kids (PDF)
- Ready.gov Kids
Make a plan, set up a kit, and stay safe South Florida!
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Soon, you too, could say, #thisisthelife
Article by: Jeannie M. Ferrara