Difference Between Hurricane Watch and Warning

We’re 2 weeks away from the start of hurricane season here in Florida. While most of us are by now familiar with everything this entails, it never hurts to brush up on information to make sure we are prepared. With that said, do you know the difference between a hurricane watch and warning? If not, read on to find out.

A hurricane watch or tropical storm watch is usually announced 48 hours ahead of when they expect weather conditions like tropical storm force winds to start reaching the specific area. According to the NOAA this also means that “hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area.”

When a hurricane watch is issued this is the time you want to get your home and supplies ready, go over your evacuation plan and keep track of weather advisories.  A hurricane warning or tropical storm warning may follow a hurricane watch so you want to make sure you are ready to act quickly.

A hurricane warning, on the other hand is announced 36 hours ahead of when they expect weather conditions to worsen. As the NOAA states, a hurricane warning means “that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area.”

Once a hurricane watch is issued it’s important to complete all preparations, including those in your home, work place, car, etc. You need to make sure to have the appropriate supplies and food and your home is secured properly. A hurricane warning also means that if you live in an evacuation area it is your time to leave. Again, a warning is issued 36 hours from when they expect weather conditions to start worsening. It is dangerous to wait until the last minute to put up shutters, drive around getting gas, or evacuate. Always plan accordingly and leave ample time for the unforeseen.

The National Weather Service is the best place to keep an eye on weather conditions and storms.  Once storms form in the Atlantic, the National Weather Service releases updates on its location, wind speed, and outlook every 6 hours at 5am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm.

Never wait until last minute to prepare. As Floridians we should just make it a habit to prepare our hurricane supplies in May so we’re ready for June 1st and don’t get stuck in long lines or worse off with no supplies.

The best way to prepare your home, your family, and your pocket is by having the correct insurance policies in place like a Flood Insurance Policy which many homeowners don’t realize they need, or a Cat4Home  policy which can help eliminate your hurricane deductible and cover other out of pocket expenses.  Contact a Preferred Link agent today to help you choose the right policy for you and your home.