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The 2018 Hurricane Season

Photo+by+Shania+Campbell.
Photo by Shania Campbell.

Photo by Shania Campbell.

Photo by Shania Campbell.

Shania Campbell

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The Atlantic Ocean hurricane season began in June and hurricanes are beginning to form around Florida. Here is a breakdown of Florida’s recent history with hurricanes and how to prepare for future ones:

 

Hurricanes have yet to affect Florida this season, but there have been many storms recently as a result of the hot weather. Most hurricanes don’t occur at the beginning of the season, causing September to be when hurricanes really start to build. As Tropical Storm Gordon began to invade the Florida panhandle and Alabama, Hurricane Florence was being created in the Atlantic Ocean. Its predicted path isn’t towards Florida, but the East Coast states instead. Possibilities of another hurricane are high with global temperatures getting warmer and Florida experiencing strong hurricanes the past two years.

 

Two hurricanes have visited Satellite Beach since 2016: Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Both hurricanes brought sufficient damage to the island including power outages, fallen trees, roof damage, and a plethora of broken fences.

 

Hurricane Matthew was first reported as a more powerful hurricane, but it depleted to a Category 3 when it made landfall. The eye of the storm was too far in the Atlantic to bring a mandatory evacuation in Satellite Beach, so many stayed in their homes. Other people, though, decided it was better to be safe than sorry when the time came and left for the mainland.

 

Hurricane Irma was also a Category 3, but it had a more intense impact since it went straight through the state, while Hurricane Matthew was farther in the ocean. The strength and course of the hurricane brought a mandatory evacuation to the barrier islands. The damage included trees falling on houses, power lines on the ground, canopies caving in at gas stations, and much more. Hurricane Irma was definitely a strong hurricane and set a record for the longest time for a hurricane to last as a Category 5.

 

Knowing what to do before hurricane season even begins can help prevent issues when one does come. Below is a list of tips for what to do before a hurricane is announced near Florida:

  • Buy a generator: When the power leaves your house and the powerline repairmen take a long time to fix it, you don’t want to be sitting in the heat without entertainment or communication for days at a time while you wait.
  • Buy battery powered fans and flashlights: Too many extension cords running through your house to reach the generator can be a hassle. Purchase battery powered fans to keep cool and flashlights to navigate at night time. Having a portable charger is also helpful for keeping your phone alive in order to access news updates and loved ones.
  • Keep money saved for repairing damage: If an tree unexpectedly falls on your roof or water floods into your house, insurance companies can only help so much. It also costs money to rent a hotel room for a few days during the hurricane―money that could be needed to repair damages.
  • Pay attention to weather reports: Hurricanes change course and strength in a matter of minutes, so knowing what to expect is helpful and also safer.
  • Stock up on water: Buy a couple of packages of bottled water in the beginning of hurricane season to avoid having to fight with everyone at the grocery store and search all over town for it.

 

Hurricanes change course and strength rapidly, which can cause some people to not know which precautions to take. Below is a list of guidelines in the event that a hurricane is reported to affect your town:

  • Leave your house if necessary: Depending on the strength of the hurricane and the strength of your house, it could be dangerous to stay in town. During Hurricane Irma, the island was on mandatory evacuation. Hurricane Irma left a lot of broken power lines, roof damage, and collapsed fences to be fixed. Some houses were damaged enough that they needed to be rebuilt completely.
  • Find a place to stay quickly: If the island is on mandatory evacuation, your family, along with thousands of others, are trying to find a hotel before the hurricane comes. In the event that the course and strength of the hurricane poses a risk to you, find a hotel or another place to stay: Even a family member or friend who lives on the mainland with an extra room can help tremendously in this situation.
  • Call to clarify your hotel booking: This situation often occurs: You book a hotel room and arrive there, only to find out that there was a glitch in the system and you don’t have a room anymore. Call to clarify before you go to the hotel to ensure that you have accommodations while the hurricane approaches dangerously.
  • Stock up on snacks: Most restaurants aren’t open during a hurricane and can take days to open up again after the storm, so be prepared with your own food. Don’t buy too much food that needs to be refrigerated or cooked, because most houses lose electricity after the storms.
  • Keep a entertainment handy: It’s unlikely that your house will have power immediately following, so, instead of draining your limited phone battery, spend your new free time with a new book or some board games while you wait.

 

While hurricanes can be predicted to impact a certain area as a specified category, most of the time, weather channels update rapidly to match the changing strength and course of hurricanes. Only time will tell if Florida will have a major hurricane this year, but be prepared to face the possible outcome.

About the Writer
Shania Campbell, Staff
My name is Shania Campbell and I’m in my second year as a Telstar staff member. I’m a very secretive and quiet person with just about everyone, so, if you’ve met me, don’t take it personally.
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