7960657863?profile=originalA tree-trimming crew removes Norfolk Island pines in Briny Breezes.

Town residents decided to take out the fragile trees well ahead of hurricane season.

Jerry Lower/The Coastal Star

    As we head into the 2016 hurricane season, it’s not too early to make preparations … just in case. Southeast Florida has not experienced the effects of a serious tropical weather system in over 10 years, and some reminders may be in order.
 
Preparations
    Most preparations fit into three categories: people, pets, and property. A few suggested preparations and items to keep on hand include:
People
    • Bottled water, nonperishable food
    • Prescriptions and personal hygiene supplies
    • First-aid kit
    • Cash
    • Personal identification, insurance cards
    • List of medications, doctors, emergency contacts, family
    • Flashlights, batteries, solar/battery lights
     •Identify shelter in case an evacuation order is issued.
    • Know your evacuation route and destination.
Pets
    • Bottled water, nonperishable food
    • Medication
    • Waste bags, cat litter
    • Leashes, carriers, crates
    • Favorite toys, blankets
    • Identify shelter or boarding facility in case of evacuation.
Property
    • Important documents, irreplaceable items
    • Cellphones, tablets, laptops, chargers
    • Back up computer records to flash drive, external hard drive, the “cloud.”
    • Inspect, test, repair shutters.
    • Inspect and test generator.
    • Home and auto insurance policies, contact information

Storm definitions
    Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.
    A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means “be on guard!” During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action — monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.
    A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent — it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) — or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: Grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.
— Compiled by Kathleen Bell

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