Hurricane season in Naples begins June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. While Southwest Florida is fortunate to have been spared from any major storms recently, the area has felt fringe effects – mostly rain – of many passing storms. If you are visiting the area during the summer or early fall, bring an umbrella. Typical weather for a summer day is clear skies with a high around 90-degrees Fahrenheit (32-degrees Celsius); late afternoon thunder showers are common.
If inclement weather should arrive, check the newspaper for additional information. You should also know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning.
A hurricane watch is an alert added to a hurricane advisory covering a specified area and duration. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are a real possibility; it does not mean they are imminent. When a hurricane watch is issued, everyone in the area covered by the watch should listen for further advisories and be prepared to act quickly if hurricane warnings are issued.
A hurricane warning is an alert added to hurricane advisory when hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours. Hurricane warnings identify costal areas where winds of at least 74 miles per hour are expected to occur. A warning might also describe coastal areas where dangerously high water or exceptionally high waves are forecast, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
Some steps you should take well before a hurricane strikes:
Prepare an evacuation plan (include a backup route) in case you’re ordered to leave. Inform relatives of your plan and where you will seek shelter. Review the evacuation map.
Write instructions on how to turn off gas, water, electricity and where the supply lines are located. Have available to provide to local authorities.
Purchase supplies and materials you may need to protect your home, and put together a hurricane kit. Review the hurricane preparedness checklist.
If you must evacuate check local media for official orders of evacuation. Be prepared to leave first if you live on a barrier island, near the shore, in a mobile home or RV, along a body of water or in a low-lying area. You may be able to remain in your home if you live in a home that is built to withstand high winds and is not in a flood zone.
Follow directions of government officials. Know the closest Naples hurricane shelter before a storm threatens, and plan your route of evacuation and where you will go (motel, relative, etc.). The local newspaper will provide current weather forecasts and coordinates for you to follow the storm.