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HomeHurricane PrepThe 2024 Hurricane Season Is Upon Us

The 2024 Hurricane Season Is Upon Us

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BY DAVID M. DECARLO
Hernando County Emergency Management Director

June 1, 2024. It’s right around the corner. It will be here in the blink of an eye, so to speak. Why is this date so significant? The 2024 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season begins June 1st and runs through November 30, 2024. Get ready for a “hyper-active” hurricane season, according to early predictions.

Last year, Hernando County coastal residents experienced the onslaught of Hurricane Idalia. The coast experienced six to seven feet of storm surge. Storm surge is consistent with being contaminated with gas, fertilizer, and raw sewage. We are still in the recovery efforts of last year’s impact. To date, more than $8.6 million dollars of federal assistance have been dispersed to those residents impacted by Hurricane Idalia. Keep in mind this was just a coastal issue. It was a coastal storm surge event. Not a wind event. Not an excessive rain event. Not a Withlacoochee River event. Luckily, the entirety of Hernando County was not impacted. We were very fortunate!

The early outlooks, forecasts, and predictions of this upcoming hurricane season have 24 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes. Major hurricanes are considered a Category 3 or higher. The weather pattern of the Pacific equator shifting from an El Nino pattern to a La Nina pattern plays a huge role in how this season will fare. This shift often lends to decrease the chance of wind shear that affects tropical cyclones. It can also make the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico ripe for tropical development.

Regardless of the number of storms, it only takes one! Just ask those who live on the coast between Aripeka to Pine Island. The time to prepare is now! I cannot emphasize that enough. With that, I offer this advice: Build a Kit, Make a Plan, Stay Informed, and Get Involved. How? Great question!

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o Build a Kit
▪ Get your supplies now – don’t wait. Every time you go to the store,
purchase water, non-perishable food, batteries, etc., etc.…buy a little at a time.
▪ Buy sandbags now – as part of your disaster supply kit.
o Make a Plan
▪ Have a plan for you and your family.
▪ Have a plan for your pets!
▪ Have a plan for your business!
▪ Share your plan with your employees!
▪ Share your plan with family or friends who live out of state or out of the area. They will worry about you – sharing that plan will help ease their
worries for you.
▪ A shelter should be your last resort.
▪ If you must evacuate – travel tens of miles, not hundreds of miles.
▪ A shelter is a lifeboat – NOT THE LOVE BOAT!
o Stay Informed
▪ Keep up with the storm developments; keep up with local weather reports.
▪ Sign up for emergency weather alerts at www.AlertHernando.org.
▪ Focus on the storm’s IMPACT – NOT the cone of uncertainty.
▪ Know the difference between a Watch & a Warning.
▪ If you live on the coast – learn the ground elevation of your home; learn how to look up your tide tables.
o Get Involved
▪ Help one another get prepared if needed.
▪ Trim trees, gather supplies, and bring in loose items from the yard prior to the storm.
▪ Make sure your homeowner’s insurance is up to date.
▪ Know what IMPACTS your home can withstand.
▪ Learn your evacuation zones.
▪ Buy sandbags now – as part of your disaster supply kit.

To learn more about hurricane preparedness, Hernando County Emergency Management will be hosting our annual Hurricane and Safety Expo on June 1, 2024, at Challenger K-8 School, located at 13400 Elgin Blvd, Spring Hill, FL, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. We will have preparedness partners and vendors, a Meteorological Q & A panel and discussion, NWS SkyWarn Class, Touch a Truck, Food Trucks, TGH Helicopter, and we will be raffling off a portable home generator. You must be present to win the generator. To sign up for the SkyWarn class, please call 352-754-4083.

For more information regarding hurricane preparedness and to download our disaster preparedness guide, visit www.hernandocounty.us/em.

Follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HernandoCountyEM/ Follow us on X (formally Twitter) @HernandoCo_EM

Follow us on Instagram @hernandoeoc

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