TALLAHASSE (CBSMiami/AP) – South Florida can breathe a sigh of relief Saturday as the rather slow 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season has come to an end—but emergency officials say that resident’s should still remain prepared.
After a total of 13 named storms, only two of which became hurricanes, the season concluded Saturday.
Forecasters had predicted a busy year but that proved wrong as the 2013 season saw the fewest hurricanes in a single year since 1982.
Just one storm — Tropical Storm Andrea — made landfall in the United States. Experts say drier-than-expected air and persistent conditions in the atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean led to the weaker season
While the end of a relatively inactive season is good news, the office of Governor Rick Scott believes the quiet season could create complacency. Also, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) wants to remind residents that the end of the season does not mean emergency preparedness should be forgotten.
“Complacency becomes the real threat with a slower than predicted season,” said Bryan Koon, FDEM director. “The last hurricane to make landfall in Florida was in 2005. The last eight years have seen an influx of new residents, who may have experienced a tropical storm and believe that this event is the same in intensity as an actual hurricane. Memories also tend to fade with the passage of time between events, so even lifelong residents become complacent in their preparedness. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to remain prepared and vigilant.”
Also, the end of hurricane season, according to FDEM, is the introduction of the state’s severe weather and wildfire seasons as strong cold fronts move through and drier conditions increase chances for wildfires.
Officials encourage that residents remain prepared and plan for all types of disasters.
Information on emergency plans and disaster supply kits can be found at www.FloridaDisaster.org.