PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Hurricane season started June 1, and the National Weather Service is holding Tropical Town Halls to talk to residents about the forecast this year and how to be prepared.
The NWS is forecasting 2019 to be a normal season. The last two years were forecast to be normal to slightly above normal, but regardless, experts say it just takes one storm to cause widespread damage like last year with Hurricane Michael.
A “normal” hurricane season typically means 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, according to the NWS.
“All it takes is one storm to hit to make it a busy and bad year for you,” NWS Mobile Senior Forecaster Don Shepherd said.
Shepherd was in Pensacola Tuesday night for a Tropical Town Hall. He wants to make sure people are preparing although he said it should have been done before June.
“What we like to emphasize is maybe a three-day supply of food, water, things like that, per person,” he said.
Shepherd also talked about past hurricane seasons. In 1997, it wasn’t a busy season for the United States overall but it was for Mobile and Baldwin counties.
“Hurricane Danny hit in Mobile, and it was a minor, category 1 hurricane but it had like 30 or 40 inches of rain with it and a lot of flooding in the area,” Shepherd said. “That was the only storm that made landfall in the U.S. that year.”
Shepherd said to go ahead and trim trees, buy plywood to board up windows, buy batteries, a weather radio and any other essential items.
Hurricane supplies in Florida are tax-free through Thursday.
There will be a second Tropical Town Hall coming up in Milton on June 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Santa Rosa EMA office.