MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Saturday June 1st marks the start of the 2019 Hurricane Season. It marks the day when the National Hurricane Center begins to send out daily forecasts as well as other products they have developed or improved over the last six months.

Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham says they have been preparing and so should you.

“We ourselves are getting ready at the hurricane center and we can’t do it alone,” Graham told CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Warren during the Center’s annual open house.

“I can tell you that when a hurricane is threatening you it’s a very stressful situation,” says Graham who wants everyone to get the message that they should prepare now. “It’s not the time to be doing your planning when a hurricane is on the way, let’s be ready now.”

In order to get ready and be ready, know your risk and have everything you will need to survive, before a storm strikes.

To help with the cost of hurricane supplies, Florida launched its annual hurricane supply sales tax holiday on Friday, May 31.

Stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s have just about everything you will need to prepare for the season and eligible items are exempt from local and state taxes through June 6.  Shopping during this time makes stocking and creating your hurricane kit easy and more affordable.

Eligible items include batteries, flashlights, fuel tanks, generators and battery powered radios.

Click here for full list of qualifying items

“It’s important to have multiple ways to get information. When the powers out, you need something that’s battery operated because after the storm it’s still critical to keep yourself safe,” says Graham.

In addition to getting that information, he also stresses to know your risks, and the fact that the risks are not always confined to the coast or evacuation zones.

“Let’s start talking about being safe from inland water. These hurricanes aren’t just a coastal event, it’s inland as well,” he says.

Graham points out that ninety percent of fatalities in tropical systems are due to water, with inland flooding not storm surge being a large part of that.

Now is the time to know your dangers and prepare for them, not when a storm is approaching.

 

Dave Warren

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