Officials stress importance of preparing for hurricane season

Officials stress importance of preparing for hurricane season

As the COVID pandemic seems to be declining, it’s now time to start thinking about hurricane season.

The season started Tuesday and with the tax-free week on supplies in Florida continuing until June 6, it's important to start getting prepared.

At George's Paint and Hardware on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, the hurricane supplies haven't exactly been flying off the shelves.

"We've been selling a little more flashlights, but no one has been panicking yet," said Kevin Cooney, a worker at the store.

The large number of new residents coming into South Florida does present a challenge concerning hurricane education.

"They come in here, and they have absolutely no clue," Cooney said. "I think some of the people are very distracted with COVID and other issues, and they're not really paying attention to hurricane season until it pops up on their screen."

MORE: 5 things Florida newcomers should know about hurricane season

One thing that should be on everyone's screen is the price of lumber, especially sheets of plywood often used in hurricane preparations.

"How quickly the price has risen. Like in March, a half-inch sheet of plywood was $39.99. Today, it's $69.99. [I've] never seen anything like that before in my life," Cooney said.

That stands to put pressure on homeowners as they make their preparations.

"People have to be reminded the hurricane season is six months long," said Mary Blakeney with Palm Beach County's Emergency Management.

She cautions about residents letting their guard down because they may feel lucky this area has avoided hurricanes in recent years.

"If a new resident moved here, and they have a new home, they need to not only prepare personally for supplies but understand the home, as well as know if they're in an evacuation zone, know if they have shutters. Also, make sure they have proper insurance coverage," Blakeney said.

Scripps Only Content 2021