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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Property Damage / Insurance > Hurricane Watch versus Hurricane Warning: Do You Know the Difference?

Hurricane Watch versus Hurricane Warning: Do You Know the Difference?


Improved technology allows scientists to identify virtually all tropical depressions that form in the Atlantic. If scientists anticipate that a hurricane could approach the mainland United States, then the National Weather Service might issue a hurricane watch or a hurricane warning. But what’s the difference between the two? And what actions should you take as a result?

How a Watch Differs from a Warning

The National Weather Service will issue a “hurricane watch” when it finds that hurricane conditions are possible in a given area. This means that the Weather Service believes that a storm with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or higher could form. The Weather Service should issue the warning at least 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm level winds developing.

The Weather Service issues a “hurricane warning” when it expects a hurricane to develop in an area. In other words, a hurricane is no longer a possibility, it is an expectation. The Weather Service should provide at least 36 hours of advance warning before it expects tropical storm-level winds developing.

The key difference is the certainty with which the Weather Service expects a hurricane to develop. If it’s only possible, then a watch is issued at least 48 hours in advance. When a hurricane is expected, then the Weather Service issues a hurricane warning at least 36 hours in advance.

How the Public Should Respond

As you can see, not a lot of warning is given with either a hurricane watch or warning. Even if the hurricane never materializes, a powerful tropical storm could still hammer the Florida coast, causing storm surge and flooding.

At Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. we encourage property owners to stormproof their property year round. There is no reason to wait until the days before a storm hits to think about window treatments or how to store your personal property, like grills or lawn furniture.

However, if you haven’t taken any safety measures, then we encourage people to be on guard when a hurricane watch is issued. A powerful storm could strike within days. This gives people some time to come up with an evacuation plan and decide where their pets will go if the hurricane or tropical storm slams into Florida.

If the government issues a hurricane warning, then it is time to act. We encourage people to board up their windows if they do not have treatments in place. Also move furniture and other objects inside the garage or your home. You should also begin preparations for leaving your property.

Government officials will notify people when they need to leave the area. But it is better to have your hurricane kit already in place with plenty of supplies such as water, non-perishable food, and medicine.

Be Safe

After a storm departs, homeowners need to be careful returning to their properties. Structural damage is not always visible.

Our law firm can help if you need to make an insurance claim. Many insurers fight to deny claims, especially after widespread destruction caused by a hurricane or tropical storm. We have your back. Call the Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. to schedule a free consultation at 386-252-5170.




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