June 1st is the official start to the Hurricane season and if you are not prepared now you are already behind the ball.
Some things to consider:
- Wind speed is not the greatest factor in storm damage. For coastal and low lying interior communities storm surge is the greatest danger. Storm surge is the water pushed by the storm up onto the beach and unto low lying areas. This water will force its way through canals, rivers, and low lying areas into land far from the shore causing inland flooding.
- Know your evacuation zone and leave when requested. Determine your zone by going to https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/72/Know-Your-Evacuation-Zone. If an evacuation is called it is best to go tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles. Staying locally with friends and family out of the evacuation zone until it is safe to return will prevent hours of sitting in traffic and costly hotels. Also keep in mind that if you chose to defy an evacuation order first responders will not be able to help if assistance is needed as long as they are sheltering from the weather.
- Shelters are not hotels. If you intend to stay at a county shelter you will need to bring food, water, medication, cots, pillows, and other supplies. Supplies at the shelters will be VERY limited. There will be very little space available to each person and no privacy.
- Prepare to be self sufficient for one week. Make sure to store enough food and water to be totally self sufficient for a week in case storm damage destroys the local infrastructure. Remember, even if your home is high and dry, the area around you may be flooded or covered in debris. You may become trapped and encounter difficulty leaving the area unil first responders reach you.
- Have a plan! Now is the time to prepare for the storm, waiting until the last minute will only cause frustration and waste time.