ATLANTA – September 5 marks 10 years since Hurricane Frances hit Florida and brings timely reminders to be prepared for hurricanes.
Floridians were still recovering from Hurricane Charley as Frances bore down on the east coast of Florida three weeks later. Frances was as big as the state of Texas and twice the size of Charley. As Frances moved slowly over the ocean and approached the coast, orders were given and 2.8 million residents of 41 Florida counties evacuated—the largest evacuation in Florida's history since Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Frances made landfall on Florida’s east coast as a Category 2 hurricane early on September 5, crossed the Florida Peninsula, and later that night made a second landfall in the Big Bend region.
While Hurricane Frances is remembered for the evacuation, situations requiring people to leave their homes, can happen without warning. Hurricanes may give residents a day or two to move to a safer location, but a fire, chemical spill or transportation accident may require immediate evacuation. Many disasters allow little time for people to gather even the most basic necessities, which is why planning now is essential.
Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare
September marks National Preparedness Month, and this week’s anniversary of Hurricane Frances is an opportune time to plan how to ‘Reconnect and Reunite with Family Following a Disaster.’ Take time this week to talk with your family about where you will meet and how you will contact each other if separated. Develop plans, including knowing your evacuation zone and routes, ahead of the next severe storm. Information to help you make a family emergency plan is at www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov. Start your plan today! National Preparedness Month culminates on September 30 with America’s PrepareAthon! Check out the information and plan to participate.
Following Hurricane Frances, FEMA provided:
The U.S. Small Business Administration provided:
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.