Update: Sep. 15, 2011 -
Emergency managers: One hurricane pet shelter not enough for Palm Beach County /via palmbeachpost.com
According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends on November 30th each year. South Florida has seen its fair share of hurricane force winds, which according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, range from 74 mph (Category 1) to 155 mph or higher (Category 5).
Roughly 20 hurricanes have hit Palm Beach County since the early 1900s. Since four storms have struck since the turn of the 21st century, things like hurricane season, storm shutters, and cones of probability are familiar terms to Palm Beach County residents.
Why does it matter to me?
Hurricanes can cause storm surges that flood low lying areas. Further inland, they can damage or destroy vehicles, buildings and bridges. They can also spawn tornadoes. With such potential for destruction, it's important to be ...
...prepared. County officials note that, "Government alone cannot begin to handle all of the adverse impacts. It is up to each and every resident to have evacuation plans in place and make sure our homes are as secure as possible" (pbcgov.com).
What can I do?
Before a storm, you can make preparations to alleviate damages. The County guides hurricane preparation by offering a Hurricane Survival Guide with phone numbers, lists and tips to help keep you and your family safe. After a storm, if you emerge unscathed, consider pitching in to help those who were not as fortunate.
Check on your neighbors. Is anyone injured? Does everyone have enough food and water to make it until stores re-open and are restocked?
Take a look around your neighborhood. Are there dangerous live wires or utility pole damage? Let the power company know right away (but don't go near the power lines!)
Volunteer with a hurricane relief effort.
The American Red Cross Palm Beaches - Treasure Coast Region organizes volunteers to respond to disasters. They offer classes year round, such as first aid and CPR classes, that can better prepare you to assist in times of emergency.
United Way of Palm Beach County administers a Hurricane Relief Fund and also organizes volunteer efforts.
Check with your favorite local nonprofit. If they don't have their own relief efforts underway, they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
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Apr. 29, 2011