TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. This is the time of year when forecasters expect the formation of more tropical activity in the form of tropical depressions, storms, and cyclones - in other words, hurricanes.
So far this year, leading scientists and forecasters are preparing for an average or slightly more active hurricane season. Yet it only takes one storm to cause death, damage or change lives forever.
That is why it is so important to prepare and make sure you, your family, pets and property are as safe as they can be when a storm threatens.
Also, know that a hurricane does not have to make a direct hit on your community to cause problems. In 2017 for example, Hurricane Irma, at one point, covered the entire state of Florida, and caused simultaneous flooding in the northeastern and southwestern parts of the state.
Irma caused so many deaths (134), and so much damage (more than $64 billion), across such a wide area, that its name - together with 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Nate - has been forever retired from future storm name lists.
So make sure you have a watertight family plan. Know if you are in an evacuation zone, and if so, where you will go to seek shelter. Set up a communications network to keep in touch with relatives and friends before, during and after a storm. Pack a hurricane supply kit which includes among other items - water, non-perishable foods, flashlights, extra batteries, phones and chargers, a battery operated radio, first aid, moist towelettes and hand tools.
To help prepare for the 2018 hurricane season, watch WFLA's Storm Team 8's "Surviving the Storm: A Storm Team 8 Special" hosted by Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve.
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