2008 Hurricane Season Preparedness
Every year the experts come out with predictions for the upcoming hurricane season. Sometimes they're off causing people to brush off the warnings. No one could have predicted two category five hurricanes would make landfall in the Atlantic just two weeks apart, but that happened for the first time ever last year. Hurricane experts are predicting another very active hurricane season this year. They are predicting that there will be 15 named storms, 8 of which will become hurricanes, and whether the estimates are right or wrong,anyone who lives in florida should be ready before the season starts.
"There are two seasons.There is hurricane season and there is getting ready for hurricane season season," says Steve Letro the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.
Even though things have been relatively quiet in North Central Florida for the past few years, other parts of the world are still feeling the effects.Meteorologists around the world and here at the National Weather Service in Jacksonville see the big picture.
"What people don't understand is that it hasn't been very quiet, its just has been quiet here", says Mark Johnson the director of Levy County Emergency Management.
Last year, 2 destructive category 5 hurricanes hit the Caribbean and Central America nearly back to back resulting in about 200 deaths and over $4 billion worth of damage. Experts are predicting another above active hurricane season this year.
"If you live in florida, you're going to have to prepare for every hurricane season like this one is going to be the year that the big one will getcha,"says Steve Letro.
Being prepared is a start. but a big part of being prepared is knowing what's going on with the weather and keeping a close eye on the tropics.
"You want know what you're going to be dealing with should one come here," says Mark Johnson.
The majority of North Central Florida doesn't lie on the coast, so the storm surge doesn't affect residents in interior counties. But, it may surprise you to learn what kind of impact a hurricane can have on us.
"Very heavy rainfall which can cause flooding. one of the biggest threats that we have from tropical cyclones, and it doesn't even take a big hurricane do this, is to produce tornadoes. Hurricanes are notorious tornado producers," says Steve Letro.
Gusty winds can also threaten our area and cause major damage.
"As we saw in Hurricane Charlie back in 2004, we can have hurricane force winds that cut across the entire width of the state," says Steve Letro.
Being prepared is a start, but a big part of being prepared is knowing what's going on with the weather and keeping a close eye on the tropics. Government agencies can only do so much to make sure you and your family are prepared for the worst.
"We all have to be proactive to work together," says Mark Johnson.
"It has to be a joint effort," says Steve Letro.
And although we don't see hurricanes come here to often, they still happen and we have be ready for them.
"If you live in Florida, at some point you have been hit by a hurricane and i will tell you that you will be hit again," says Steve Letro
To learn more about preparations for upcoming months check out www.floridadisaster.org.
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