Hurricane Awareness in Florida

The official prediction for this hurricane season calls for only a ten percent chance of a below normal season, which means that leaves a 90 percent chance of an average or above average tropical season.

That seems to be the consensus, and with hurricane season right around the corner, now is the time to get ready.

To say a hurricane has explosive energy is quite an understatement. The energy of a strong storm is equal to four atomic bombs every minute. Armed with this knowledge you might think Hurricane Awareness Week would not be needed, but many people simply don't prepare.

Paul Duval, meteorologist in charge at TLH NWS, says, "It is difficult to get people to prepare for something year after year that never happens, so we have to go through this exercise every year to remind people they have a responsibility to remind them they can't wait to prepare for a hurricane when a watch or warning is issued."

New for the 2004 hurricane season is Florida's mobile command vehicle, an $850,000 tool designed to deal with disaster.

Craig Fugate, director of Florida Emergency Operations, says, "This vehicle is designed to literally roll in, park, internal batteries, internal generators, able to operate for 72 hours without any refueling."

This rig's capabilities are too numerous to list. Its main job is to provide communication during a recovery, a recovery that will be made easier if storm victims are prepared.

Fugate adds, "Follow what your local officials are telling you. It is something you must do in Florida to deal with this hazard. It is not an option."

Right now Florida emergency officials are looking for sponsors to distribute a DVD-rom packed with hurricane info. The federal prediction for tropical storms this year is 12 to 15 tropical storms with six to eight becoming hurricanes.