Water-Related News

Tropics heat up in August

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Hurricane Andrew. Hurricane Charley. Hurricane Katrina. What does each of these storms have in common?
• They were devastating storms.
• Their names were retired.
• They all made their Florida landfall in August.

This is the month when tropical activity begins to ramp up in earnest before reaching its peak in mid-September. That’s why it is critical that residents take this time to ensure all of their preparations for a potential hurricane impact are done. Some items to consider include:

Check the cooler.
New picnic coolers can help keep perishable items cold for a longer period thanks to improved insulation. Residents should evaluate the age and insulation of their coolers, as well as their size. Smaller coolers are easy to tote to the beach, but can they hold a substantial amount of ice and food should power go out?

The furniture shuffle.
One of the best ways to help prevent damage outdoors is to bring in lawn furniture, grills, bird baths and other outdoor furniture. Residents should take the time to review what items need to be brought into a protected area, and exactly where that will be. This can save a tremendous amount of time during the stressful approach of a hurricane.

Keep the charge.
Smart phones, tablet computers and other electronics can provide vital links to friends and relatives both before and after a storm. Chargers that work on regular power, a car charger and by other means are vital to keep the batteries juiced up. Simple changes such as adjusting screen brightness, deleting unnecessary applications and using batter saving applications can help extend the life of the battery for when you need it most.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, contact Emergency Management (www.pinellascounty.org/emergency) at (727) 464-3800 or visit and join Pinellas County Emergency Management on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pinellasem.