September 17, 2020 | By Chuck

With everything going on in 2020, it seems easy to forget that we are now in Hurricane Season. Hurricane season is officially from June 1 through November 30, but here we are at the second week of June, and we have already had three named storms.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)has published an outlook that this year’s hurricane season has a 60% probability of being an above normal season. This means that they are predicting 13-19 named storms, with 6-10 Hurricanes and 3-6 Major Hurricanes, meaning a storm of Category 3; 111 mph winds or higher.

Emergency officials advise all residents of hurricane prone areas to make a Hurricane Kit and have an Evacuation Plan established before the season officially begins on June 1.  If you haven’t done this already, it’s not too late.

First build your Hurricane Kit. Be sure to have food and water for 3 and shelf stable food 7 days, at least 1 gallon of water per person per day is recommended. If you can’t find water at the store, fill clean food safe jugs, such as milk or iced tea jugs, with water for you and your family, and don’t forget your pets. If your home runs on well water, a power outage can mean no running water, fill bath tubs with water or use pool or lake water (once the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside) to help flush toilets, Do not drink this water. Be sure to have flashlights and batteries, candles are not safe or recommended during a storm, charge all of your wireless devices and rechargeable batteries,fill up vehicle gas tanks, and if you have a gas grill, have propane tanks to boil water if you lose power, and a battery powered radio.  Store all of your important documents (birth certificates, Social Security Cards, etc) in a safe, accessible watertight container that can be easily grabbed in the event you need to evacuate. Know where your nearby shelters are and if they are pet friendly. Do not leave pets behind.

Hurricane Shelter Information:

In the event that you do need to relocate to a public disaster shelter this season, the CDC has made recommendations on how to safely evacuate and to socially distance.They are recommending that all evacuees try to maintain as much space between groups as possible, all individuals ages 2 and older should wear face coverings, and to wash your hands frequently. If you are ordered to evacuate your home, it is still recommended to go to an emergency shelter, rather than to wait out the storm in an unsafe location. Below are links to local shelter information pages. It is important that you check these lists leading up to a storm as the information may have changed from previous storms.

Lake County

Orange County

Seminole County

Volusia County

Florida Shelters

Three to Five Days before the storm is predicted to land secure your home and belongings. Bring in any loose items from your yard such as trash cans, bikes, and decorations and make sure that anything that it too big to come inside, such as a trampoline or playhouse, is properly secured so that it will not fly away and cause more damage. Know if you are in an evacuation zone, and be prepared to evacuate if asked. Trim back trees and clean out gutters and areas that provide rainwater runoff. Cover windows with hurricane shutters or plywood

Keep in the Know. Watch the news and listen to the radio for weather updates, these will be frequent as the storm comes closer.While weather agencies make predictions, tropical storms and hurricanes have surprised us all in the past and taken sharp turns or not broken apart the way they were predicted.

Check out this post Do You Know What’s Covered for more information about what to do if your home is damaged in the storm.

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