PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Hurricane season is officially here, and it’s important to be prepared. Here are some of the essential steps you need to take to ensure your safety and protect your property.


It is crucial to pay attention to weather updates and evacuation orders. Have a way to get alerts weather alerts like Alert Bay or the StormTrack 13 App. Get information from trusted sources like the National Hurricane Center, NOAA, or your local meteorologist. has weather tools to keep you updated such as the Interactive Radar, Weather Alerts, and the Hurricane HQ. All of these tools and more are available on the StormTrack 13 App. Watch the latest episode of Tropic Topics to see the most recent information on any activity in the Tropics. You can also receive daily weather updates in your inbox by signing up for our email newsletters.


If you’re in a high-risk area, make sure you have a plan in place and know where to go if you need to evacuate. Be familiar with shelter plans and your evacuation zone and route. This can save crucial time needed when a storm is heading your way. If a storm is approaching the area, always prepare for a category above what is forecasted. If category 1 is forecasted, prepare for a 2. If a 2 is forecasted, prepare for a 3. If a major hurricane is forecasted, evacuations should be at the top of your mind. While forecasts have come a long way in the recent past intensity forecast still have ways to go. This is why you should be ready for worst-case solutions its always better to be over-prepared when it comes to hurricanes. The more prep work you put in now the less you have to scramble when a storm approaches.


Make sure you have enough supplies for several days, including non-perishable food, water, and medication. Don’t forget to have a first aid kit, flashlights, and extra batteries. You can find a list of items you need on our Hurricane Supply Checklist. Another important step is to fill up your gas tank and have cash on hand. Power outages can last for days, and you may need to evacuate. Having a hurricane kit and a go-bag are necessities before the storm arrives.


Documenting and knowing what your insurance plans actually cover, as well as just having photos of your property inside and out can be one major factor to keep you ahead of the storm. Make sure you know the details of your plan and what’s covered in it. If you have a shed, make sure it’s covered. The same goes for docks and other items that might not fall under a general homeowners policy. It’s your job to prove what you have and the condition it’s in before the storm. Take the guesswork out of it when the insurer shows up. The better you know your property, what’s covered, and have proof the more you can relax about this. Leave no doubt in this area for your own piece of mind.

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Remember, hurricanes are unpredictable and can be dangerous. Stay informed with the latest forecast. Storms can change rapidly and if a storm is heading for the area the forecast will be updated every 4 hours you should check the forecast two times a day if possible and at least daily when a storm moves in. Taking these steps can help you stay safe and protect your property. Stay informed, be prepared, and stay safe.