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Florida Division of Emergency Management Announces New Series: “Meteorology Minute” to Better Educate Floridians on Flood Safety


Florida Division of Emergency Management Announces New Series: “Meteorology Minute” to Better Educate Floridians on Flood Safety

TALLAHASSEE, FL. – Today, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (Division) announced the “Meteorology Minute”, a new series where one of the state’s top four meteorologists summarizes relevant weather information to help Floridians better understand hazards, language and preparedness tips, increasing weather awareness statewide.

“Florida faces a diverse range of weather hazards year round. I want for everyone to start seeing the Division as more than just the Hurricane agency,” said Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie. “Having some of the only state meteorologists in the country, I am excited to share their wealth of knowledge with our residents so we can all stay safe when severe weather occurs.”

Florida is no stranger to hurricane season which lasts from June 1 to November 30, but Floridians are also in  severe weather season from December 1 to May 31. During these seasons Florida residents can be at risk from a variety of hazards including tornadoes, flooding, and wildfires, which is why the Meteorology Minute seeks to better inform Floridians how to protect themselves and make a plan for these hazards.

You can watch the most recent Meteorology Minute here and learn more about flood safety during Flood Safety Preparedness and Awareness Week here.

Here are some tips that will be covered in upcoming editions of the Meteorology Minute and also good ways to keep yourself safe from the many hazards you may experience during severe weather season.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch v. Warning

Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Weather conditions favor thunderstorms capable of producing large hail or damaging wind at this location. Be prepared.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning – Large hail or damaging wind is occurring or will begin soon at this location. Seek shelter immediately.

  • If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning and should seek shelter.

Tornado Watch v. Warning

Tornado Watch – Weather conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and near the watch area. Be prepared.

Tornado Warning – A tornado has been spotted or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Seek shelter immediately in an interior room, away from windows. ​

Before a flood reaches your area:

  • Know if your home is in a flood zone.
  • Develop a flood emergency action plan.
  • Evacuate immediately, if advised to do so. Bring important documents with you.
  • Move to higher ground if a flood warning is issued in your area.
  • Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.

During a flood:

  • Never walk, drive or swim through flooded roadways. Nearly half of all people killed in floods are those who try driving through flooded areas. Turn around, don’t drown!
  • Do not drive around barricades, they are there for your protection.
  • If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately.

After a flood:

  • Do not visit disaster areas or buildings that remain in flood waters - your presence may hamper emergency operations.
  • Throw out food that has come into contact with the floodwater and follow all boil water notices if issued by your local officials.
  • Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • If the power is out, use flashlights to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
  • Report broken utilities to the correct authorities.

Cold Weather Safety – Follow the 5 P’s of Preparedness

  • Protect people –Dress in warm layers and wear a hat and gloves. Remember to assist young children and the elderly.
  • Protect pets - If cold weather is in the forecast, be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.
  • Protect pipes - Cover exposed outdoor pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
  • Practice fire safety - Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames.
  • Protect plants – Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from dangerous temperatures.

Wildfire Safety

Reduce your risk by preparing now, before a wildfire strikes. Meet with your family to decide what to do and where to go if wildfires threaten your area. Find out how you can promote and practice wildfire safety by becoming Firewise.

The Division encourages all residents to sign up to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications. To find your local notification system, please visit FloridaDisaster.org/AlertFlorida.

For additional updates, and to see future Meteorology Minute segments, follow the Division @FLSERT on XInstagram and Facebook 


Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2024
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