Hurricanes

Victoria Weler / WFSU

North Florida Congressman Al Lawson is launching his Let’s Feed America campaign, which aims to reduce hunger by expanding eligibility and making it easier for those in need to receive access to food. Lawson says 1 out of 4 people in the fifth congressional district have been on the SNAP Program or food stamps this year.

NOAA / http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/early-season-storms-one-indicator-of-active-atlantic-hurricane-season-ahead

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a more active hurricane season than initially expected. The announcement comes as Florida prepares for the peak months of the season – August through October.

Hurricane season is here and you're probably hearing a lot of talk about maps; storm surge maps and perhaps even flood zone maps. Here are some clear differences to help you understand what they mean for you.

Let's start with storm surge maps. They help emergency managers make plans to protect the nearly 21 million people who call Florida home -- by predicting how high the water wall forced onshore by a storm might be and how far inland it will invade. That will also help you know when it's time to head for higher ground. 

National Weather Service

The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency says Floridians today may suffer from more hurricane denial than in the past. Craig Fugate traveled to Tallahassee Wednesday in an effort to combat what he sees as widespread misunderstanding of storm data.

Fugate knows how Florida prepares for storms – he saw it first-hand during 11 disaster declarations as the state’s emergency management director.  But he says the way the public now consumes storm tracking data may actually threaten public safety.

NASA Earth Observatory

Friday marks the end of this year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season. It produced nineteen storms with three hitting Florida.

For the past few years, Atlantic air currents have saved Florida from severe hurricanes. That’s according to Erik Salna with the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University.

“So many storms have been formed, but so many of them stayed off shore because they all curved away from the U.S coast line.” Salna said.

 

With a few weeks left before the start of hurricane season, Florida Division of Emergency Management officials are preparing now just in case a hurricane makes landfall during the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Florida Disvision of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon said while the chance of a hurricane hitting Tampa during the time frame of the convention is relatively slim, it’s something the state needs to have a plan for.

Hurricane season starts in June and more than 13-hundred people are gearing up at the Governor’s annual Hurricane Conference.

Department of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon says while this year’s hurricane forecast is slightly lower than normal, that doesn’t mean citizens should spend any less effort getting prepared.