ADOBE STOCK PHOTO SCARY SITUATION — Volusia County would be in dire straits if a major hurricane were to pass this close in the Atlantic Ocean. With forecasters calling for a higher-than-normal number of storms this year, emergency officials are urging residents and business owners to prepare for this year’s hurricane season, which officially started June 1.

Get out of the water when a storm is approaching. Stay away from windows and electric devices when there’s lightning in the area. Protect plants, pipes and pets during extreme cold. Develop a family disaster plan and stock a disaster supply kit in case of a hurricane, tornado or flooding.

These are all common tips to help keep you safe during an emergency. However, when it comes to emergency preparedness, everyone needs reminding every now and then. And that’s the purpose behind Florida’s annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, which will be recognized this year around the state from Feb. 7-11. The week will be full of tips, information and reminders about how to stay safe during Florida’s extreme weather hazards.

“Florida has an abundance of sunshine and great weather all year-round,” said Volusia County Interim Public Protection Director Mark Swanson. “But we also have plenty of severe weather that can be quite dangerous. Severe Weather Awareness Week is an important time to take inventory, go over your family safety plan and checklist to make sure you’re prepared.”

Starting with Monday’s kick-off, each day will focus on a different theme. Topics will include lightning, marine hazards and rip currents, thunderstorms and tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding and temperature extremes and wildfires. Safety information for each hazard will be posted on the Volusia County Emergency Management Facebook page,

“As always, when it comes to severe weather, staying informed and staying prepared are your best safety tools,” said Swanson.

Residents looking for local, real-time information regarding disaster preparedness can follow Volusia County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter and also can download the free Emergency Management app ( available on both the Google Play and App Store.

More information regarding Severe Weather Awareness Week is available by clicking on the link below to visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website:

— Volusia County Community Information, Gary Davidson


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