Hurricane disaster preps: Serving and helping our Spanish speaking communities

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)- After a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, now more than ever is it important to inform and protect our communities.

As it could be especially difficult to disseminate information to our friends, neighbors, and loved ones when a language barrier exists.

Recently the NHC has predicted yet another active season.

Forecasters with NOAA predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. They predict this with 70% confidence.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1 and extends through Nov. 30, and while the Latino community makes up 36% of the population in Tampa Bay, there are plenty of resources this year to be hurricane ready.

A great place to start is determining what the risks in your home entail. Are you near the coast where surge may be the greatest risk? Are there large trees that easily be toppled by strong winds? Researching and determining what your risks are is a great start to be hurricane prepared.

Next is developing an evacuation plan and knowing your zone. The greatest threat during hurricanes is storm surge.

With winds from an approaching storm push sea swells ashore that pile water above the normal tide levels one foot of storm surge is enough to sweep cars off roads. 

Florida is extremely vulnerable to surge flooding because of its coastal and low-lying geography. Should a storm arrive, are you are familiar with evacuation zones in your area? Counties that use designated evacuation zones will use these letters when they order evacuations.

Emergency Kits are the next steps. What you’ll need to plan for are two situations: Remaining in your home after a disaster or evacuating to a safer location. A great resource to help start the process for those who speak Spanish can be found here.

Overall, great resources for our Spanish-speaking communities can be found on FEMA’s website and Listo.

Be sure to stay updated during the Atlantic Hurricane Season with the Max Defender 8 weather team and through the weather discussions in both English and Spanish.

For detailed, local information about how to best prepare for hurricane season, click here for the Max Defender 8 Hurricane Guide.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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