It may seem early but here in Florida, it’s time to prepare for hurricane season.
Officially, the Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and runs until Nov. 30. But in half of the hurricane seasons in the last 15 years, named storms have developed before June 1, and some of them have been significant.
In fact, the National weather services has, for the last few years, been studying whether to start the hurricane season two weeks earlier.
So, why are we talking about this now?
Simple. Since Monday, the National Hurricane Center has been monitoring a tropical wave that developed off the coast of Africa and is now in the Atlantic. At this point, there’s no way of knowing if this wave will develop and where it will go. If it does develop into a named storm, it will be Alex.
Currently, scientists are projecting an above-average hurricane season with 14 named storms and nine hurricanes. Four of those hurricanes are predicted to be category 3 or higher.
So, what does that mean for us in North Central Florida? Frankly, not a great deal yet, beyond starting to think about your hurricane planning.
Start looking at your property to see if there are preparations that need to be made immediately. If your roof is old, if shingles are not laying smoothly or if you have had leaks, you may want to try to get a professional roofer to examine it. Don’t wait on this one. Roofers have been busy for some time, and they are only going to get busier in the next few weeks.
You should consider the same thing for trees on your property. If you have big trees, you may want to have them looked at by a tree company. Even a tree that looks healthy to you can be damaged with enough wind and rain. But like roofers, tree professionals are getting into their busy season.
Next, check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most do not include flood insurance. And you cannot make changes once a storm is heading to our area.
Take a look at porches, carports, windows and doors. Make sure the porches and carports are secure, and the windows and doors are sealed.
Consider whether you want to purchase a portable generator. If you do, now is the time. You may not need it but being without power for an extended period is difficult.
Think about any outdoor furniture or fixtures. If they will not be secure during a storm, consider now where you will want to store them.
And here’s the big don’t. Just because hurricanes season is officially a few weeks away, there is no need to be hoarding. Instead, monitor the forecasts so you are prepared to take necessary action when the time comes.
Obviously, some of what we are suggesting takes the help of qualified professionals. To find the right help, feel free to review our resources page.
Remember, we are in Florida. So, hurricane season is a time for us to all be prepared and stay safe.