Preparing for a Hurricane

This is spring training week for the state’s hurricane planners. Estimates are that 2005 will be another active year with as many as 13 named storms. Now is the time to get ready.

Bottled water is in stock, and batteries are on the shelf. Last summer, customers stood 10 deep waiting to buy a generator at a Tallahassee equipment supply store.

Since then, few have given much thought to getting ready for another storm.

"I mean, it’s less than 20 probably not as compared to five to 700 people that were getting prepared right before a storm hits," says equipment supplier Robert Mulvaney.

At the state Emergency Operations Center it is déjà vu. "This is all too familiar."

This is spring training for hurricane planners; they are practicing and learning from the lessons of last year’s string of storms. The worst mistake planners say Floridians can make is to believe it can’t happen again.

Ben Nelson, state meteorologist, says, "Forecasting above average activity across the Atlantic basin this year."

New legislation awaiting the governor’s signature could affect how much money you will be able to collect from your insurance company if you have any flood damage whatsoever at your house this year, and because of this change now is the time to talk to your insurance agent.

Since 1995, Florida has seen more hurricane activity than in any other 10-year period, and forecasters say the trend will be active for the next decade or two.

A reminder: for the first 12 days in June, the state will waive the sales tax on items deemed necessary for preparing for a hurricane.