Hurricane Season Ends, but Preparedness is Year Round

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Wakulla County, FL - Six months ago, parts of Sopchoppy, FL in Wakulla County were blocked off by flood waters thanks to Tropical Storm Debby.

"Our area was truly impacted by just one system. While some people got a little bit of rain, some people got 20 to 25 inches of rain, I'm talking about Debby, which was catastrophic for some folks in the area, a drought buster for others, and kind of disappointing for others, that's the kind of season it was," said WCTV Chief Meteorologist Mike McCall.

The Sopchoppy River crested at 36.8 feet, 8 feet above flood stage.

"A lot of people who figured they would never have to worry about flooding had to. And of course the Sopchoppy river overflowed, that was a serious problem and that made them cut off for a while," said Wakulla County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Keith Blackmar.

The river flooded so much that residents had to take boats to their homes.

"We ended up with more than 60 homes that got destroyed and there are many more that had other impact. It may be four or five months later but it's still obvious we have issues," said Blackmar.

The season featured 19 named storms. Debby ended up causing more than 8 million dollars worth of damage to Wakulla County.

FEMA News Release

Atlanta, GA - Today marks the end of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, but disasters aren't limited to hurricanes or a specific time of year. Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere, and it's important to be prepared year round.

"While today is the end of an active hurricane season, it serves as an important reminder of just how critical it is for all of us to be prepared so that we can protect our families, homes, businesses and communities from the potentially devastating effects of a disaster," said Phil May, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV Administrator. "There are some simple steps we should all take, such as make a family communications plan and put together a disaster supplies kit, which will help keep us safe when we're faced with an emergency."

Emergencies can range from natural disasters such as flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes, to events such as power outages. Visit to learn about different hazards, and how to prepare for them.

Here are a few tips to help you get ready:

  • Most communities may be impacted by several types of hazards during a lifetime--be informed about the hazards that exist in your area.
  • When tailoring your family communications plan, consider working with others to create networks of neighbors, relatives, friends and co-workers who will assist each other in an emergency.
  • Among the items in your basic disaster supplies kit, include enough food for at least three days, and one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Since you can't predict where you will be for disasters, it's important to have plans and supplies for the locations you and your household go to regularly.
  • Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster, but standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding. To protect your property, consider getting flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Check out opportunities to get involved in programs and activities to make your family, home and community safer from risks and threats.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

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