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Potential for active hurricane season on minds at governor's conference

'Now is a good time to do a look at your insurance policy,' Kevin Guthrie says
Posted at 7:03 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 19:03:36-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — No one knows for sure what's in store for this hurricane season. But being prepared is what brought emergency personnel, public safety officials and forecasters to West Palm Beach this week.

"The conditions are in place for an active hurricane season," Robert Molleda, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service in Miami, said. "What we can't predict this far in advance is where those storms will form and where they're going to go."

Molleda is among hundreds who will be attending the Governor's Hurricane Conference this week at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

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Professionals are sharing information and learning about the latest tools used to protect the public.

Molleda said over the last several years forecasting tools have greatly improved.

"South Florida is one of the most, if not the most hurricane-prone parts of the country, at least historically speaking," Molleda said

For many Florida residents, hurricane preparation is complicated by the state's ongoing insurance crisis.

State officials insist the market is improving but too many are still feeling the financial pain of high premiums and finding insurers.

"Now is a good time to do a look at your insurance policy," Kevin Guthrie, Florida's emergency management executive director, said during an event last week. "Make sure you have enough on your insurance to actually cover the cost of replacing your home should you experience a catastrophic event."

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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.