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Hurricane Preparedness Week

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Hurricane Preparedness Week in Florida and Recap of 2023 Hurricane Season

This week, from May 6-11, 2024, is designated as Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week. The Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging all Floridians to use this final month before the start of hurricane season on June 1 to restock disaster supply kits, update disaster plans, and stay informed on how to stay safe during various weather hazards.[1]

Governor Ron DeSantis emphasized the importance of this week, stating, “Florida Preparedness Week is the perfect time to sit down with your family and ensure you have a customized plan for your household. It only takes one storm to impact an entire community, so I encourage all residents to know their risks, make an evacuation plan and have all essential supplies needed to stay safe before June 1.”[1]

The Division stresses that Floridians should not focus solely on the projected number of storms for the 2024 season, as it only takes one hurricane to produce long-lasting impacts. Understanding risks and early preparation measures are crucial for mitigating hurricane-related impacts and enabling a quicker recovery and statewide resiliency.

Recap of the 2023 Hurricane Season for the Florida Gulf Coast

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season was a particularly active one for the Florida Gulf Coast region. Here’s a recap of the major storms that impacted the area:

Hurricane Idalia (September 2023): Hurricane Idalia made landfall near Cedar Key, Florida as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. The storm brought destructive winds, storm surge flooding, and heavy rainfall to the Big Bend region of Florida, causing significant damage to coastal communities and widespread power outages.

Tropical Storm Bret (August 2023): Although Tropical Storm Bret did not directly impact the Florida Gulf Coast, it brought heavy rainfall and flooding to parts of the Florida Panhandle, leading to several water rescues and road closures.

Hurricane Franklin (October 2023): Hurricane Franklin made landfall near Naples, Florida as a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. The storm caused extensive damage to coastal areas, with storm surge flooding, downed trees, and power outages reported across Southwest Florida.

Hurricane Preparedness Week

While the 2023 hurricane season was active, it served as a reminder for Floridians to be prepared and heed the advice of emergency management officials during hurricane threats.

Hurricane Preparedness Week Preparing for the 2024

As Florida Hurricane Preparedness Week continues, the Division of Emergency Management is encouraging Floridians to take the following steps to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season:

  • Make a disaster plan specific to your household’s needs, including considerations for children, pets, and seniors.
  • Build a disaster supply kit with enough non-perishable food, water, medication, and essential documents to last at least seven days.
  • Have multiple ways to receive weather alerts, such as a battery-operated or hand-crank weather radio.
  • Know your evacuation zone and the ability of your home to withstand strong winds and heavy rain.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full during hurricane season to ensure you can evacuate if necessary.[1]

By taking these preparedness measures, Floridians can better protect themselves, their families, and their communities from the potential impacts of hurricanes during the 2024 season.

Here is a list of essential items that should be included in your hurricane preparedness kit:

Hurricane Preparedness Week Preparedness Kit

Water and Food

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day for at least 7 days (for drinking and sanitation)
  • Non-perishable food – 7-day supply of easy-to-prepare items

Lighting and Communication

  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio recommended)
  • Cell phone with chargers and backup battery

First Aid and Hygiene

  • First aid kit and manual
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper, feminine products)
  • Personal protective equipment (masks, gloves)
  • Prescription medications (7-day supply)
  • Thermometer with batteries (if needed)

Tools and Supplies

  • Manual can opener
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen

Important Documents

  • Copies of identification, insurance policies, prescriptions, household inventory
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.)
  • Cash and copies of credit/debit cards

Hurricane Preparedness Week: Additional Items

  • Extra clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags
  • Kitchen accessories and cooking utensils
  • Toys, games, and entertainment for children
  • Pet supplies (carriers, leashes, food, records)
  • Tire repair kit, booster cables, pump, and flares for vehicles

Remember to store these items in easy-to-carry containers or duffel bags, and check and update your kit at least once a year.[1][2][3][4]

Hurricane Preparedness Week

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Citations:
[1] https://www.miamidade.gov/global/emergency/hurricane/kits-checklists.page
[2] https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/survival-kit-supplies.html
[3] https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-supplies
[4] https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/hurricane-supply-checklist/

[1] [2] [3] [4]

Citations:
[1] https://www.floridadisaster.org/news-media/news/20240506-florida-division-of-emergency-management-announces-2024-hurricane-preparedness-week/
[2] https://www.floridadisaster.org/planprepare/preparing-for-hurricane-season/
[3] https://www.stateofflorida.com/articles/hurricane-preparedness-guide/
[4] https://www.noaa.gov/hurricane-prep
[5] https://floridarevenue.com/DisasterPrep/Pages/default.aspx
[6] https://www.weather.gov/mhx/hurricaneprep
[7] https://www.fema.gov/blog/hurricane-preparedness-week-are-you-ready
[8] https://www.noaa.gov/hurricane-prep
[9] https://www.foxweather.com/weather-news/hurricane-season-2023-summary-recap
[10] https://www.directrelief.org/2023/12/the-2023-hurricane-season-a-recap/
[11] https://www.weather.gov/media/tae/newsletter_1223.pdf
[13] https://www.thorntontomasetti.com/news/2023-hurricane-season-recap
[14] https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/2023-atlantic-hurricane-season-summary
[15] https://www.weather.gov/tae/HurricaneIdalia2023
[16] https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/hurricane-season-2023-nears-end-but-florida-recovery-from-idalia-still-underway/

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