UF Experts: Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

After Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018, there is no telling what this year’s hurricane season has in store for Florida.

Yet these recent storms have shown us that preparation is key, according to experts with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The official start of the season is June 1, but Floridians can get a head start on preparations by visiting disaster.ifas.ufl.edu, where they will find practical tips and information to help them weather a potential storm.

“We’ve integrated all our disaster resources so people could find everything in one place, all online. You can even use it from your smart phone, which can be very useful if you lose power,” said Angie Lindsey, assistant professor of family, youth and community sciences. “This site presents credible, science-based information that can help you and your family stay safe during and after a disaster,” she said.

The disaster website include a helpful tips page with information about what to put in your “go bag,” stocking up on nonperishable foods, caring for pets and readying your home for the storm. For the more visually inclined, the website has several videos and infographics to help you with your hurricane preparations.

Those who want to take a deep dive into hurricane preparation can download the recently updated UF/IFAS Extension Disaster Handbook, which covers everything from preparing the farm, to post-storm clean-up and mental health.

UF/IFAS Extension agents across the state post new and relevant information about disaster preparation and recovery on Blogs.IFAS. Check this page regularly.

However, no matter how prepared you are to wait out the storm at home, if a hurricane is headed your way, authorities may tell you to evacuate, so having an evacuation plan for you and your family is important, Lindsey said. “If you are in a mandatory evacuation area, it’s critical that you move to a shelter or other safe location. It just might save your life,” she said.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

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