Ah, warm weather. Stunning biodiversity. Idyllic spots for basking. These are a few iconic aspects of life in Florida.
Unfortunately, so are hurricanes.
These large storms and their effects are sometimes taken for granted. Weather-related sight gags pop up online before a hurricane. An acquaintance heaves an annoyed sigh upon hearing that a hurricane is coming, while another invites both of you over for the corresponding themed party.
Whether this is your first hurricane or your thirtieth, it’s good to be aware and to prepare accordingly.
“Hurricane Impacts on Florida’s Agriculture and Natural Resources,” a publication from the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, is full of useful information. It discusses how hurricanes can have negative effects on microorganisms, fish, plants, crops, tree orchards, coastal area salinity, and habitats for endangered species. These storms can also compromise coastal forest and wetland ecosystems and their ecosystem services.
Unfortunately, Floridians are also familiar with the possibility of hurricane-related injury, death, or property damage. Some storms can be safely weathered at home. However, other storms may make an evacuation necessary. “Hurricane Preparation: Evacuating Your Home,” a publication from the UF/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, contains suggestions to help readers plan for possible evacuations. These suggestions discuss evacuation routes and directions, fuel, safety, important supplies, communication, and emergency plans regarding care of children and pets.
Don’t be caught unawares this hurricane season. For more information about wind damage mitigation, hurricane preparation, and disaster preparedness and recovery, Ask IFAS.