The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring uncertainty to South Florida's business community, but one thing that remains certain is that hurricane season is bound to heat up in the coming weeks. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce's Oakland Park/Wilton Manors/Uptown Council hosted its annual hurricane preparedness event, which is usually held at Funky Buddha Brewery. Due to the pandemic, the Chamber decided to hold the event virtually and invited CBS Miami Chief Meteorologist Craig Setzer to present and provide his outlook on the rest of this storm season.
The big question that everyone wanted answered is when do we expect this hurricane season to reach its peak of activity? As Setzer put it, forecasting the peak is tough, but he believes activity in the Atlantic Ocean will begin to peak in mid-September.
The main takeaway for participants - beware of storm surge. Setzer reiterated the need for those living along the coast to heed evacuation orders when local officials put them in place. According to Setzer’s presentation, storm surge is the number one killer when hurricanes strike. The discussion on storm surge led to the topic of sea level rise. For years, the Chamber has taken on initiatives to help educate our community on the dangers of our rising seas. As Setzer described, we are seeing a rise of 10 inches per century. For residents and the business community, these estimates are enormous factors when it comes to development and insurance premiums.
Sea level rise can be hot button issue in the political sphere, but Setzer explained it is important to not get caught up in who or what is causing our seas to rise. Setzer added, “we should be prepared for sea level rise regardless of the cause just because it is so consistent over the past 150 years or so.”
The virtual event wrapped up with a question and answer session allowing participants to ask questions regarding the well-known cone of concern and Saharan dust, which limits the ability for storms to develop during portions of storm season.
In closing, the Chamber would like to thank SERVPRO of Fort Lauderdale North and Owner Ty Po for sponsoring this year's event. As Po described, "we hope you're never hit by disaster but if you are, we're here to help."
CLICK HERE TO SEE A RECORDING OF THE VIRTUAL HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS EVENT