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Before the Storm

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Be ready to face an emergency situation at any time.  In South Florida, residents must be prepared for hurricanes or tropical storms annually.  Learn about steps you can take before a storm threatens our area:  make a plan, gather supplies and other actions you can take to prepare your home, family and pets. 


 Make a Plan



Have an Emergency Supply Kit

Know the Hazards

Should a storm threaten to impact our area, the National Weather Service will issue a watch or warning for our area.  This helps residents and emergency managers know what actions to take in preparation for the storm’s possible impact.

Storm Surge
The most dangerous element of a hurricane is the storm surge – a dome of ocean water that can be 20 feet high at its peak and up to 100 miles wide.  Nine out of 10 hurricane fatalities are attributed to storm surge.

Extreme Wind
An Extreme Wind Warning will be issued if sustained winds of 115 mph or greater are expected to begin in a specific area within the hour.

Hurricanes are storms comprised of wind and rain, which can be heavy and lead to isolated floods as well as flash floods.

Tropical Storm Watch
A tropical cyclone containing sustained winds of 39-73 mph is possible in the next 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Warning
A tropical cyclone containing sustained winds of 39-73 mph is expected in the next 36 hours.

Hurricane Watch
Hurricane conditions (a tropical cyclone containing sustained winds of 74 mph or more) are possible within 48 hours.  A watch let’s you know that conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur and allows you to prepare.

Hurricane Warning
Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.  A warning is an urgent message that indicates that a weather hazard is imminent.

Check your local forecast at the National Weather Service at