With an above average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season expected in 2022, officials and first responders from Miami-Dade County are stressing there is no time to waste.
“First and foremost, have a plan,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said during a Wednesday morning meeting during the first day of the season.
Leaders spent the first day telling residents there is no time to wait.
“It is critical to prepare now instead of waiting until a storm is imminent,” said State Rep. James Bush, a Democrat whose district includes portions of downtown Miami near Biscayne Bay.
Officials urged residents to take advantage of the sales tax holiday on storm supplies, which runs through June 10th. This year, in addition to not paying a tax on items like generators and batteries, select pet food and supplies are also tax free.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said making provisions now for pets is meant to help make humans safe if a storm comes.
“People will not leave their house if they can't take their pet with them. So, the state in all 67 counties, pet shelters are mandatory to have in place,” he said. “So we can make sure nobody has an excuse not to evacuate.”
A recent survey from AAA reported 30 percent of Floridians said they don't have an evacuation plan.
The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially began Wednesday with researchers predicting an "above-normal" year and forecasters already keeping an eye on one system that could become the first named storm of the season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's averages for the Atlantic hurricane season is 14 named storms and seven hurricanes. The average for major hurricanes is three.
Last month, NOAA released their predictions for this year, calling for an "above-normal" 2022 with 14-21 named storms expected.
Of those named storms, six to ten are expected to be hurricanes and three to six could be major hurricanes, NOAA officials said.
The hurricane season begins on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.