The Atlantic hurricane seasons lasts from June to November. It is important for everyone in the Panama City Beach area to keep an eye on tropical weather, so you will have time to prepare if you need. The most dangerous element is the storm surge (how far inland the waters will come). Wind, and rainfall, which can cause flooding can also be dangerous. Home and property owners should review their insurance protection prior to hurricane season. Many policies do not cover flood damage. When a tropical weather is forecast, stay tuned to emergency broadcast television stations or radio stations for evacuation instructions. A volunteer evacuation means that it would be a good idea to leave, but you don’t have to. A mandatory evacuation means that you must leave.
Hurricanes are categorized on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most powerful.
Category 1 storms carry winds from 74-95 MPH
Category 2 from 96-110 MPH
Category3 from 111-129 MPH
Category 4 from 130-156 MPH
Category 5 storms have wind speeds of 157 MPH or greater.
* Storms of category 3 or higher usually result in evacuation orders.
Watches and Warnings
Tropical Storm Watch – Tropical storm conditions with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph are possible in your area within the next 36 hours
Tropical Storm Warning – Tropical storm conditions are expected in your area within the next 24 hours
Hurricane Watch – Hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) are possible in your area within 36 hours
Hurricane Warning – Hurricane conditions are expected in your area in 24 hours or less
Coastal Flood Watch – the possibility exists for the inundation of land areas along the coast within the next 12 to 36 hours.
Coastal Flood Warning – Land areas along the coast are expected to become, or have become, inundated by sea water above the typical tide action.
Be sure to have a full tank of gas well before the storm arrives. Be sure to have at least 3 days of food & water, a full battery on your phone, a first aid kit, flashlights with extra batteries, a battery powered radio with extra batteries, any needed medicines, duct tape and any other needed supplies. Depending on the severity of the storm, stores may be closed for a week or more and utilities may be out of operation even longer.