Published On: Tue, Jun 6th, 2017

Preparing for the 2017 Hurricane Season

By: Michael Demyan

hurricaneIt’s that time of year again.

Hurricane season officially began on June 1 and while South Florida has not been a huge target for the giant storms in recent years, experts are expecting an above-average season.

The City of Boca Raton has their own hurricane guide to help residents be prepared for possible storms this year. A major highlight is a 10-step plan which includes holding a family meeting, securing the home and gathering supplies.

Homeowners also need to prepare their homes for the upcoming hurricane season. Reinforcing their roof with the help of a roofing contractor, repairing any damages on the siding, and scheduling Residential Electrical Maintenance are all recommended to keep their homes safe and durable enough to withstand strong winds and rains.

Other information includes a supply kit checklist, map of evacuation zones, pet safety tips and what to do after a storm passes. It details everything that needs to be known in order for Boca Raton residents to safely make it through an approaching storm.

An important new tool used today that was not available in the past is social media.

“You can connect with us through social media,” Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie said. “It’s hard to imagine that during Wilma in 2005, social media wasn’t a factor in communication. The city has active Facebook and Twitter pages.”

Facebook and Twitter are useful ways for people in the path of a hurricane to stay updated on what is happening. If there are power outages or television signals go out, everyone can use their phones to view continuous news from the City of Boca Raton.

Before this hurricane season even began, Tropical Storm Arlene became the first tropical storm of the year to form in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the first to do so in the month of April since 2003.

Including the formation of Arlene, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting there is a 70 percent chance that there will be between 11 to 17 storms with winds reaching 39 mph or higher. This is a slight step up from last year’s prediction of 10 to 16.

Five to nine of those predicted storms are expected to be hurricanes, while two to four are expected to become major hurricanes, which would mean winds of at least 111 mph.

Forecasters believe that the above-average season could be a result of a weaker El Niño, which is the cycle of warmer sea surface temperatures. Years with stronger El Niños will usually result is less storm development due to higher wind shear.

Even though it will be an above-average season, that does not necessarily mean any storms will make landfall. A major hurricane has not made landfall in the United States since Hurricane Wilma passed through Florida in October 2005. Residents are still urged to always be prepared during hurricane season however, as tropical storms and minor hurricanes can still cause a lot of damage and create dangerous situations.

Hurricane Matthew is an example of that as it never actually made landfall in Florida last year, however the impact of the outer bands caused damage and flooding across the east coast. The state was also in the cone of error for many hours leading up to the storm’s approach to the state. If the storm made just a short shift to the left, it could have been a devastating hit.

Since a major hurricane has not passed through in over 11 years, that also means that many people who currently live in Boca Raton may not have ever experienced the wrath of a hurricane before, so it is always suggested to create a plan and be prepared for the worst, as it is always better to be over prepared than underprepared.

Boca Raton’s hurricane information guide can be viewed by going to

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