JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As hurricane season approaches, NOAA is predicting a near-normal season with four to eight hurricanes. The forecast has a majority of people living in Florida worried, according to a recent survey conducted by AAA.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November. In an effort to make sure everyone is prepared for the season, Sen. Rick Scott was be in Jacksonville Thursday morning. It's one of several stops around the state ahead of the first day of hurricane season. He was at the Turner Ace Hardware store on Atlantic Boulevard.
According to AAA, nearly 20% of Floridians are more concerned than last year. This comes after Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle last October as a category five storm.
A majority of Florida residents would evacuate for a named storm but 62% said they would only leave if it was a Category 3 storm or bigger, the survey found. AAA said nearly a quarter of those surveyed don’t prepare for hurricane season ahead of time.
To prepare, experts at the Turner Ace Hardware in Fernandina Beach urge people to start preparing for storms now before the season starts.
“It’s definitely really crucial,” explained Steve Turner, manager. “The hurricanes sneak up on you so there’s very little time to prepare. Stocking up right now is a huge advantage rather than getting the leftovers right before the storm.”
Turner said there are dozens of items you should stock up on before a hurricane, including a flashlight, batteries and a radio. He said one of the most useful items is a generator. In addition, Turner said some of the first items you should make sure you have are several gas cans to power a generator and lanterns.
There are also several items Turner said you should get that you may not think of.
“I’d say tarps. If you get a leak during the hurricane you can use that,” explained Turner. “Candles are good. Let’s say your batteries run out of your flashlight, you always have some type of light source. A radio, it’s nice to be able to hear weather alerts and emergency alerts.”
Turner recommends getting these items before a hurricane is in the forecast.
Residents are also reminded to make any repairs to roofs or windows beforehand.