Not only is August the trigger for the peak of hurricane season, it also competes with another annual August activity, “Back-to-School.” Summer is ending and preparations to return to school are at their peak as well. From July 31 to August 9, Florida families will see a savings on back-to-school supplies during the state’s annual 10-day sales tax holiday. Millions will take advantage of the ‘discounts’ to prepare their students for a successful school year, which begins as early as August 10 for Brevard County.
Items that are tax-free include:
- Computers up to the first $1,000
- Clothing, shoes, or accessories $60 or less
- *Accessories do not include, duffel bags, sunglasses, jewelry including watches or athletic equipment or gear or gift cards
- School supplies $15 or less
As families are preparing for academics and athletics to resume, they need to keep their emergency preparedness preparations at top of mind too. After a relatively calm June and July, and with the distraction and excitement of the new school year, it is reasonable that complacency might set in. However, August is not the time for complacency.
Why is August the Trigger Month for Peak Hurricane Season?
According to the NOAA, “From mid-August through mid-October, the activity spikes, accounting for 78 percent of the tropical storm days, 87 percent of the category 1 and 2 hurricane days (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), and a whopping 96 percent of the major (category 3, 4 and 5) hurricane days.”
Here are some of the factors that contribute to this proven trend:
- Wind shear – Wind shear is stronger in May, begins to taper off through June and July, and is at its lowest in late August. Wind shear disrupts formation and strengthening of storms.
- Temperature – Ocean and air temperatures becoming warmer as summer progresses while moisture in the atmosphere is also increasing.
- Tropical waves – Tropical waves off the African coast are forming nearly every three days and experts say when the wind shear and ocean and air temperature “are in sync” is when you will see the greatest number of viable storms. (i.e., August through October)
- September 10th – The day most likely to find a significant storm somewhere in the Atlantic.
What Were the Most Destructive Hurricanes Ever in August?
- Hurricane Alicia, August 1983, Category 3, Southeast Texas, $3 billion, 21 deaths
- Hurricane Dorian, Aug. 2019, Category 5, Bahamas, $5 billion, 84 deaths
- Hurricane Camille, Aug. 1969, Category 5, FL Gulf Coast, $9.2 billion (in 2010 dollars)
- Hurricane Charley, Aug. 2004, Category 4, FL West Coast, $16 billion, 15 deaths
- Hurricane Andrew, Aug. 1992, Category 5, FL Southeast Coast, $45 billion, 50 deaths
- Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 2005, Category 5, New Orleans, $125 billion, 1,800 deaths
- Hurricane Harvey, Aug. 2017, Category 3, Southeast Texas, $125 billion, 107 deaths
What are the Best Ways to Prepare for Hurricane Season?
Even if you have put your emergency preparedness plan and preparations off a bit this year, it is not too late. By far one of the best ways to protect your home, family, and pets remains with hurricane shutters or storm shutters. Long gone are the days of using masking tape on windows and installing / removing plywood ‘shutters’ in the heat of summer, while the storm is approaching. Who has the time for that hassle anyway? Whether your home is new or older, waterfront or urban, hurricane shutters provide remarkable safety impact for your home and peace of mind.
Here’s a quick recap of other storm preparation necessities:
- Established an emergency plan and compile necessities in an emergency preparedness kit. These lists can be found free on state disaster websites or from your local home improvement store.
- Know the difference between a ‘watch’ and ‘warning.’
- Have an evacuation plan if you are in a flood-prone area.
- Fill up your vehicles’ tanks, and perhaps a few extra gas cans. But be a good neighbor, don’t hoard gas.
- Identify special needs shelters or shelters accepting pets if those are requirements for your family.
- Clear yard of any debris, toys, outdoor furniture that could become projectiles.
- Fill any drinking containers with clean water should your home’s water supply become compromised or unavailable.
- Check all batteries (i.e., lanterns, smoke detectors, carbon dioxide detectors, cooling fans, etc.)
- Always stay away from windows not protected by quality storm shutters or hurricane shutters.
While you’re planning for your back-to-school excitement, don’t lose foresight of a pending storm. You can’t outsmart one and you can’t stop one, but you can prevent the extent of the damage.
Hurricane Shutters Available at Brevard Shutters and Accessories, Inc. in Melbourne, FL
Brevard Shutters offers a wide variety of aesthetically pleasing and protective storm shutters including popular Bahama and Colonial Shutters to the newest in Lexan panels and armor screen hurricane protection. You can view all of these options and more at our local onsite showroom and speak with one of our professionals in person. If you have any questions, you can also give us a call at 321-409-9091. Time is of the essence so schedule your free estimate today. Brevard Shutters serves clients throughout Brevard, Indian River, and St. Lucie counties.