County EMA director encouraging residents to be prepared this hurricane season

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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Yesterday marked the official beginning to the Atlantic hurricane season with one storm already in the books.

Hurricanes, as well as other storms, are closely monitored by the Escambia County Emergency Management Agency as well as several area weather related entities.

David Adams, EMA director for Escambia County, said the predictions for the 2021 season are cause for preparation.

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“All of the official predictions are calling for a higher than average season,” Adams said. “What that really means is that the conditions are right to generate a significant number of storms.”

Although the storm season is expected to be very active this year, Adams said predictions for the season isn’t what people need to be paying attention to as the season begins.

“The average number of storms has no bearing on us other than having the impact from on storm,” Adams said. “We have only had impacts in our area twice with other high predictions last year.”

Adams said the best way to limit injury, stress and damage from a hurricane is to be prepared.

“The best way to prepare is to have a plan in place,” Adams said. “Stay aware and pay attention. If you’re prepared, there really isn’t any reason to be overly excited or stressed about a storm.”

Although Escambia County has seen limited damage in the past few years, there is always a chance that the next storm could be the one to bring devastation.

“Don’t get complacent is my biggest piece of advice,” Adams said. “Last year, Sally was a funny storm in that we weren’t supposed to have much of an impact. But, that changed in the last 36 to 48 hours and we saw significant impact in our area. That just supports the thought that we all need to remain vigilant and remain aware.”

Adams also said that as residents watch updated information on the path of any hurricane, focus doesn’t need to be just on the center line of the cone.

“Don’t focus on that line in the middle of that prediction cone that comes out with hurricane tracking information,” Adams said. “If a storm is 200 miles wide and the line is to one side of the cone, that means the impacts can reach considerably far outside that cone. The tracking line in that cone just means that it’s the highest probability of the center of that storm.”

Although the season may be more active this year, Adams gives sound advice in the event of any weather-related emergency.

“The main thing is to prepare early,” Adams said. “Stay prepared and watch for changes.”

For more on hurricane season, including preparation tips, pick up today’s newspaper.