2020 hurricane season is less than a month away, what you can do to get prepared now

Posted at 7:01 AM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 13:08:07-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The 2020 hurricane season is less than a month away, and with forecasters predicting an active one, we've got a list of things that you can bookmark ahead of time.

Hurricane season starts June 1. It typically peaks in August and September.

RELATED: NHC says subtropical system could develop this weekend near Bahamas

State officials are preparing for the season while also focusing on the coronavirus.

“Hopefully, we don’t have to deal with a hurricane,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in a news briefing in April. “But I think we have to assume we’re going to have one.”

As governments prepared, they're urging individuals to do the same and create a safety plan in the event of an emergency.


Forecasters at Colorado State University predict an "above-average" season. They say there will be 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or greater.

"Reasons for above-average forecast include anticipated lack of #ElNño and warmer than normal tropical Atlantic," the author of the forecast, Philip Klotzbach said on Twitter.

The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season delivered 18 named storms and six hurricanes, including Hurricane Dorian, which skirted close to the coast of Florida last September.

To read the Colorado State University hurricane forecast, click here.

RELATED: Florida crafting new hurricane policies to protect against further COVID-19 spread this storm season

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

The 2020 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will begin Friday, May 29 and lasts through Thursday, June 4.

During the sales tax holiday period, as approved by the Florida Legislature this spring, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax.

Click here for a list of qualifying items by price.

Supply kit

A basic kit should have:

  • Water — enough for one gallon per person, per day for at least three days
  • Food — at least a three day supply of non-perishable food for you and your pets
  • Diapers, formula, bottles and wipes for your baby
  • A battery powered or hand crank radio
  • A flashlight and extra batteries
  • A cellphone with chargers and a backup or external battery
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • A first aid kit
  • Garbage bags
  • Moist towelettes for personal sanitation

Click here for more.

Apps to bookmark

  • Florida Storms - Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Google Play iTunes
  • Florida 511 - Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida with Florida 511.
  • FEMA - mobile app
  • Red Cross - mobile apps
  • Byte to Bites - Byte to Bites is a free mobile application designed to help people find local food pantries, soup kitchens, farmers markets and locations where they can use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. After a disaster, people may have limited transportation options and the app can be helpful in finding the nearest food distribution location. Apple App Store Google Play
  • Gas Buddy - Gas stations availability
  • Price Gouging - NO SCAM app

Phone numbers to know

Emergency Management by County

Citrus County

  • (352) 249-2738

Hernando County

  • (352) 754-4083
  • Recorded Message Line (352) 754-4111
  • (863) 402-6500

Hillsborough County

  • (813) 272-6900

Manatee County

  • (941) 749-3500
  • Citizen Hotline: 941-749-3547

Pasco County

  • (727) 847-8137

Pinellas County

  • (727) 464-5550

Polk County

  • (863) 298-7000

Sarasota County

  • (941) 861-5495

Sumter County

  • (352) 569-1661

Click here for more numbers to know.

HURRICANE CENTER | Click here for more coverage of Florida's hurricane season