Officials make sure Florida remains hurricane ready

Last hurricane to hit Florida was 10 years ago


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – When it comes to avoiding hurricanes, Florida has been lucky since 2005. But every year could be the year the state gets hit again and state officials are always at the ready.

Florida's Emergency Operations Center was a flurry of action Thursday, ready for two hurricanes to wallop Florida. Luckily, it was only a drill.

Hurricane season doesn't start until June 1, but with one named storm already in 2015, Director Bryan Koon said Florida remains at the ready.

"The early season storms is no indicator that it's going to be an above average or below average season," Koon said. "In fact, some of the forecasts indicate that it might be a slightly less than average season, but the message to Floridians is that it doesn't matter how many storms are in the Atlantic this year, it matters how many impact Florida and impact you."

It's been 10 years since Florida was hit by a hurricane, but that doesn't mean people should be complacent.

"Since the last time Florida had a hurricane, millions of new people have moved to the state, and on any given day we have millions of tourists, so we have lots of people in Florida who have never experienced a hurricane before," Koon said.

If Florida gets hit with its first hurricane in a decade, it will be the first year for residents, who may not have a concealed carry permit, to travel with their gun if they're forced from their homes.

Lawmakers said they wanted to make sure Floridians aren't being thrown in jail by just protecting their property.

"If you put it just underneath your seat, or if you put it inside your door, that could be considered carrying a concealed weapon with you -- that could be considered a third degree felony," Sen. Jeff Brandes said.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law on Thursday.

Florida officials encourage everyone in the state to "Get a Plan" for hurricane season. Go to FLGetAPlan.com for information on how you can get your own disaster kit ready.