Hurricane Season: What You Need to Know


Hurricane season starts June 1st and continues until November 30th. 

National Hurricane Preparedness Week for 2020 is May 3-May 9 is intended to raise general awareness on how important it is to be fully prepared if a hurricane were to hit. Our area walked through the threat and impact of Hurricane Irma in 2017. It confirmed the importance of being prepared, assembling the necessary supplies, and having a plan in case of an emergency. 

Sales-Tax Holiday for Hurrican Preparedness

Preparation is crucial. As we recently experienced toilet paper disappearing off the shelves. During a potential hurricane, many of the items on the tax-exempt list will also be more difficult to find. Therefore, the state of Florida created the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, which this year starts Friday, May 29, and runs through Thursday, June 4. For more information, please visit the Florida Department of Revenue.

See below the qualifying items:

Making a Plan

Preparedness is making sure you have plenty of batteries, and it is creating a plan for sheltering in place or evacuation. Here are some areas to consider:

  1. Make sure you have an emergency kit. Have refills of prescriptions, batteries, extra supplies for food if the power goes out, one gallon of drinking water per person per day, and more. For a complete list, see here.
  2. Know your evacuation level.  Sarasota County | Manatee County
  3. Find nearby emergency shelters. Sarasota County | Manatee County
  4. Make a Transportation Plan. If you need to evacuate or feel more comfortable evacuating, make sure to have a plan for leaving town. 
  5. Special Needs. Many families have a variety of needs they have, and a Hurricane can cause severe complications for families. For example, you may need to ensure you have a generator to ensure certain medical equipment is functioning or a working refrigerator for medication. 

Get a Plan – The Florida Division of Emergency Management created a resource to help you walk through creating a plan. You can walk through this for your family and/or business. 

Local Resources

Denis Phillips – If you aren’t following Denis, then stop everything and follow him on Facebook. He follows “Rule Number 7 – Don’t Freak Out.” So if Denis isn’t worried, then you should not either! During Irma, he was very calm, and then when Irma took a turn, he was honest with no drama. Moral of the story: Follow Denis. Not the Weather Channel!

Sarasota County – If you live in Sarasota County, then make sure you check out the county website for more information on preparedness. Most importantly is to learn your evacuation level. When Hurricane Irma came in 2017, Evacuation Level A was a mandatory zone.   Additionally, if you do not have Access Sarasota Live TV.

Manatee County – Just like Sarasota County, Manatee County also has a site filled with information for its residents. Even a #ManateeReady hashtag to rally together for preparedness! Checking your evacuation level is essential, so take a moment to check yours if you are a Manatee County resident. 

National Resources

NOAA Preparedness Guide Kids: Hurricanes can be scary, so we encourage you to use this resource for kids and parents to prepare and discuss Hurricanes. Additionally, it teaches how to cope during and after a disaster.

Young Meteorologist Program: We love Owlie, who takes kids on a “Severe Weather Preparedness Adventure!” Once your young meteorologist completes the game, they earn a certificate! It’s fun and educational!

Start Now

We cannot encourage you enough to prepare. Get the necessary supplies in your home and discuss plans now because emotions can run high during a looming hurricane. Hurricane season starts June 1, so please take some time in the next few weeks to prepare.