Gov.Ron DeSantis issued a proclamation Monday recognizing Feb. 5-9, 2024, as Florida Severe Weather Awareness Week. This is an annual event observed by the National Weather Service and the Florida Division of Emergency Management to increase awareness and preparedness for severe weather hazards during the peak severe weather season in Florida.
“The reason we’re doing that is people don’t associate Florida with anything but hurricanes,“ Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie told News 6. “I encourage residents to determine their risk and know what hazards may impact their community, as well as have a fully stocked disaster supply kit that supports every member of the household, including pets.”
Guthrie told News 6 the state has signed an agreement with Titusville-based Storm Quant to expand radar coverage to detect tornado activity in northern counties including Lake, Flagler Marion and Sumter counties.
This is a “$2 million investment for the state of Florida,” according to Guthrie, “to increase radar detection of tornadoes which lead to better warnings, more accurate information, more accurate data to save viewers in your viewing area.”
Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week focuses on the education of different natural hazards occurring in Florida each day of the week, as follows:
Monday, February 5 – Lightning
Tuesday, February 6 – Marine Hazards and Rip Currents
Wednesday, February 7 – Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
Thursday, February 8 – Hurricanes and Flooding
Friday, February 9 – Temperature Extremes and Wildfires
A statewide tornado drill will also occur on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at approximately 10 a.m. Public and commercial broadcasters are encouraged to participate in the statewide tornado drill by broadcasting these messages immediately.
For the Florida Panhandle counties within the Central time zone, all drill activities will be repeated one hour earlier (9 a.m. CST). School districts, private schools, preschools and daycare centers are welcome to participate in the drill.
The tornado warning will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Alert Radio as a “routine weekly test” message.
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