According to AccuWeather: “Forecasters are expecting 14 named storms in the Atlantic Ocean during 2016– 2 more than the average number, and 3 more than formed in the Atlantic last year. Of those 14, eight are likely to become hurricanes and six tropical storms.”

Central Florida has not experienced a direct hit from a hurricane in a dozen years. While it is difficult to predict the number and location of hurricane landfalls in any given year, it is easy to become complacent after so many hurricane-free seasons. And while a direct hit from a major hurricane is, for everyone in Florida, a worst-case nightmare, much damage can also occur from the effects of tropical storms passing through the area.

The unpredictability of hurricane forecasting makes it very important for homeowners in Central Florida to be prepared for such weather events.

Prior to the advent of hurricane season on June 1, we recommend that Central Florida property owners take the following actions to ensure that they are prepared for the worst:

(Based Upon the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Family Action Plan)

  1. Do an annual review of your property insurance coverages, including your homeowners and flood insurance coverages to make sure that you are adequately covered against wind, flood, fire and other perils. If you would like us to do a review for you of your insurance coverages, please let us know and we will be happy to do so.

  2. Develop a hurricane evacuation plan. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, know where to go to reach safe shelter, and know exactly how to get there.

  3. Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. Determine escape routes from the home and a designated meeting place nearby.

  4. Make a plan now for what to do with pets if the family needs to evacuate. Many hurricane shelters do not accept pets.

  5. Post emergency telephone numbers. Make sure children know how and when to call 9-1-1.

  6. Designate an out-of-state contact so that all family members have a single point of contact.

  7. Stock non-perishable food and emergency supplies, along with a disaster supply kit.

  8. Secure important documents, including your insurance policies, in a portable container that can easily be taken with you in the case of required evacuation.

  9. Monitor NOAA weather radio and the NOAA/National Hurricane websites for official, real-time weather information.

  10. Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes when available.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1st and runs until November 30.