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Palm Beach County leaders urge residents to prepare for hurricane season

'South Florida is hurricane country,' Palm Beach County's emergency management director says
Palm Beach County commissioners meet on May 24, 2022.jpg
Posted at 3:42 PM, May 24, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida continues to see an influx of people moving here from out of state, and for many, they've never been through a hurricane before.

"These storms have taught us many lessons. One of the most important is that it's never too early to prepare for the devastating impacts of hurricanes," said Dr. Rick Spinrad, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Now, only days away from what's predicted to be an above-average season, Palm Beach County is making sure everyone is prepared.

"With so many people moving to the county, get to know your neighbors and educate them about preparations," said Mary Blakeney, Palm Beach County's director of emergency management.

County leaders presented their storm season preparedness report in front of county commissioners Tuesday, urging new and longtime residents to make a storm plan and make it now.

SPECIAL SECTION: Hurricane Center

"Over the past 11 years, South Florida is hurricane country," said Blakeney. "Palm Beach County has been extremely lucky."

Residents can plan ahead by knowing if they live in an evacuation zone. Build a kit with five to seven days of supplies, canned food, prescriptions, batteries and flashlights.

Anyone planning to ride out the storm at home should use shutters and shelter in place.

"As for water, you should plan for one gallon per person per day," said Blakeney.

Any shift in a storm's path can make a major difference, so residents need to stay informed.

"We prepare every year for every storm season like it's going to be a difficult one," said Deputy County Administrator Todd Bonlarron. "We prepare for the worst. We pray for the best."

The National Hurricane Center is also reminding folks it can be just as dangerous after a storm passes.

WPTV has compiled a list of helpful links here to help navigate you through hurricane season.

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2024 STORM NAMES

Alberto

Beryl

Chris

Debby

Ernesto

Francine

Gordon

Helene

Isaac

Joyce

Kirk

Leslie

Milton

Nadine

Oscar

Patty

Rafael

Sara

Tony

Valerie

William

TERMS TO KNOW

TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.

TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.

HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. A hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.