“Weak hurricanes” aren’t weaklings: Be prepared for winds & rain
Every hurricane season is different, yet history shows some noteworthy trends. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel did an analysis of storms over the past 100 years and determined that Florida was hit most frequently (21 times) by Category 1 systems. But don’t ever dismiss a “weak hurricane” as a weakling.
A Category 1 storm packs wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. To some storm-tested Floridians, that may seem like no big deal. But it’s been a long time since wind approaching anywhere near that strength passed through. Your memory of a “gentle breeze” of 80 mph is likely a little faded (no offense).
Forget about the wind for just a moment. Think about tropical weather all by itself. We’ve had lots of rain in parts of the state. In the first three days of this month, areas around Tampa Bay have already received close to the one-month average for rainfall. (How many times have you emptied your pool in the past few days?) Two words: Flood insurance. The most common natural disaster is flooding, and your homeowners policy does not cover it. You need a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Weather Channel’s “Hurricane Central” website has a list of the 10 most overdue hurricane cities. Four Florida cities are on the list: Tampa is #1, Naples is #2, Jacksonville is #3 – and Key West is ranked #9.
Over the past 100 years, Florida has experienced 64 hurricanes. Do the storm categories matter? Yes, in a way. But what matters more is preparing for one and knowing what to do afterward. No time like the present, since the National Hurricane Center is tracking a potential hurricane now.