As the 2021 hurricane season begins in Florida, residents along the Gulf Coast are preparing for the potential impact of severe storms. Last year, the state experienced a record-breaking number of storms, and experts warn that 2021 could be an above-average season. Hurricane preparedness has taken on new challenges due to COVID-19, as traditional shelters may not be suitable for social distancing. Previous storms such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Michael caused widespread damage and loss of life, emphasizing the importance of staying informed and prepared for this year’s hurricane season.
Florida’s Gulf Coast Braces for Another Hurricane Season
As the 2021 hurricane season approaches, people living along Florida’s Gulf Coast are preparing for the potential impact of tropical storms and hurricanes, as they do every year. In 2020, the state saw a record-breaking number of named storms, with 30 named tropical systems, including 13 hurricanes. This year, experts are warning that it could be an above-average season, with the potential for even more severe storms.
Preparing for Hurricane Season
Residents along the Gulf Coast know the drill when it comes to hurricane preparedness. They stock up on food, water, and emergency supplies, and many board up their windows and secure their homes. Local authorities provide sandbags for those in flood-prone areas, and evacuation orders may be issued for those in the path of a storm. However, hurricane preparation has taken on new challenges due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 and Hurricane Preparedness
Many of the traditional hurricane shelters in Florida are school gymnasiums or other public facilities that may not be suitable for social distancing during the pandemic. Officials are working to identify alternative shelter options and implement safety protocols to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, residents may be encouraged to shelter in place and only evacuate if absolutely necessary.
Historic Hurricanes on Florida’s Gulf Coast
Florida’s Gulf Coast has a long history of devastating hurricanes. One of the most famous storms to hit the area was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which caused widespread destruction and cost billions of dollars in damage. More recently, Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle in 2018, causing catastrophic damage and claiming dozens of lives.
What should I do to prepare for a hurricane?
Stock up on food, water, and emergency supplies. Follow local authorities’ instructions and be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
What should I do if I’m ordered to evacuate?
Follow the evacuation order and leave as soon as possible. Have a plan for where to go and how to stay in touch with loved ones.
Can COVID-19 affect hurricane preparedness?
Yes, COVID-19 has added new challenges to hurricane preparedness, including finding suitable shelter options that can accommodate social distancing.
What historic hurricanes have affected Florida’s Gulf Coast?
Famous hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast include Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Michael in 2018.
In conclusion, as hurricane season approaches, those living along Florida’s Gulf Coast are bracing themselves for potential storms. While traditional hurricane preparedness measures remain in place, the COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges to keep in mind. Staying informed and prepared is key to reducing the impact of these storms on local communities.