July 7, 2014

It’s hurricane season again

July 7, 2014 Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak —

By Michael Mitchell

Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County

Where did the time go? We are back in hurricane season. We all hope that we do not get any storms that come our way. However, it is only a matter of time before we get hit again. We all remember Tropical Storm Debby, but do you remember that Tropical Storm Andrea brought 1.5 to four inches of rainfall with isolated higher amounts between June 6, and 7, 2013. We all need to be preparing for the next one.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast. This year NOAA officials expect about eight to thirteen named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes, with just one or two that may be major - winds over 110 MPH. The seasonal average is around 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. 

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

  • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
  • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 MPH are expected within 36 hours.

Everyone needs to keep themselves healthy by eating right, exercising, keeping their immunizations current, and having routine periodic physicals. Everyone also needs to have a family disaster plan. One of the easiest is an online version at www.floridadisaster.org . You can create your plan, save it online, and go back and update it as things change.  

Create a family disaster supply kit with food items that will not spoil, water (rotated every six months), flashlights with batteries, weather radio, an “old” telephone that doesn’t need electricity or batteries to operate, manual can opener, important documents, medication, and emergency money (ATMs and banks may not work or be closed) etc. It is also important to keep your vehicle maintained and your fuel tank filled to at least 50 percent with fuel. If an event is expected, keep your vehicle as close to 100 percent as possible. 

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