Jun 03, 2023

Florida hurricane season preparation: What you need to be ready

As recovery continues throughout Volusia County six months after the impact of back-to-back tropical storms Ian and Nicole, it's also time to start preparing for yet another hurricane season that's waiting in the wings.

Meteorologists from Colorado State University predict a total of 13 tropical storms will form during the 2023 hurricane season, which runs from June 1-Nov. 30, including six that will become hurricanes. A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when its sustained winds reach 74 mph.

In case you missed it:How bad will the 2023 hurricane season be? Why this year's forecast comes with 'large uncertainty'

A typical year averages about 14 tropical storms, with seven spinning into hurricanes, based on weather records that date from 1991 to 2020. The forecast covers storms that form in the Atlantic basin, which includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Here's what you need to know to be ready:

The National Hurricane Center, Florida Division of Emergency Management, AccuWeather, the Red Cross — and all other local, state and federal disaster officials — strongly encourage those living in a hurricane-prone area to assemble an emergency kit.

The best advice is to purchase, or update your kit from the prior year, well before a storm is approaching. That way you can avoid the long lines, empty shelves and stressed-out shoppers when a hurricane is on the way.

Assemble these items now and put them aside in a spot where you’ll be able to quickly retrieve them. Keep heat-sensitive items inside your house and rotate the stock throughout the season:

Get enough nonperishable food to last two weeks. Keep in mind that canned and other prepared foods that are salty, dry or high in fat or protein might make for good provisions, but also will make you thirsty.

Stores will be mobbed just before a storm and closed for days after. Keep a two-week supply of prescription drugs. Your first-aid kit should include:

Keep your gas tank full. Stations could be without power for weeks after a catastrophic storm or it may be difficult for tankers to reach the area.

Keep these documents in a waterproof, portable container:

In case you missed it: Basics: Special needs: Water in bulk: For household use, Keep water clean! Wait until your utility Freezing water jugs: Make your own blocks. Buy extra coolers. Try the bathtub. Put foods under ice,