How to Prepare for a Hurricane in Florida
Here in Florida, our hurricane season lasts around five months in total, spanning from the beginning of June through the end of October. Most often our storms peak around August and September, meaning we are currently in a hotspot for hurricanes in our area. Regardless of what the forecast is looking like, community members throughout the state should prepare for potential storms and plan what to do in case of an emergency.
Our team at Friendly Kia has put together a short guide on how to prepare for a hurricane in Florida, including what to pack in an emergency kit and what your family should do if the threat of a hurricane is approaching.
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Hurricanes vs. Tropical Storms
Hurricanes and tropical storms are often confused for one another and some locals use the terms interchangeably. However, there is a key difference that exists between the two weather scenarios. Tropical storms produce winds between 39 and 73 mph, while hurricanes have winds that measure in at 74 mph or greater.
Common Hurricane Storm Terms
- Hurricane Watch: Announced 48 hours before the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. Issued when hurricane conditions are possible in the given area.
- Tropical Storm Watch: Conditions for a tropical storm are possible in the given area.
- Hurricane Warning: Conditions for a hurricane are expected in the area. Warnings are announced 36 hours ahead of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Tropical Storm Warning: Conditions for a tropical storm are expected in the area.
- Eye: Center of the storm that issues calmer conditions.
- Eye Wall: Area surrounding the storm’s eye that brings the most severe weather of the storm. This area contains the highest wind speeds and largest precipitation.
- Storm Surge: An often deadly result of ocean water swells that occur as a result of a landfalling storm. Causes quick flooding of coastal areas and some further inland areas.
- Rain Bands: Areas coming off of the storm cyclone that bring heavy rain, wind, and tornadoes.
DIY Hurricane Preparation Kit
It is critical that anyone living in an area affected by hurricane season create a kit of supplies to use if a storm threat is present. The Friendly Kia team recommends including the following items in your DIY hurricane preparation kit:
- 3-day supply (or more) of non-perishable food and water
- Manual can opener
- First-aid kit (including prescriptions)
- Matches or lighter
- Personal hygiene items
- Waterproof container with important documents
- Evacuation plan
What to Do if a Hurricane Is Approaching
If you are in the path of a potential hurricane be sure to check that your preparation kit is full and up to date. Be sure to secure your home by covering all of the windows, reinforcing the garage doors, and clearing your rain gutters. Bring in all outdoor furniture or items that you can, otherwise tie down what cannot be brought inside. Turn down your fridge’s temperature and freeze any items you can in case your home loses power. Go over your evacuation plan with your family members and go over what each person will do if anyone gets separated.
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Hurricane season can be a time of stress and worry for those around Florida and our surrounding states. The best way to approach the season is by being prepared and having a plan in place. We hope our guide to hurricane safety and preparation gives you and your family a good place to start preparing for a hurricane in Florida.