Polk State encourages preparedness ahead of 2024 hurricane season

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

The 2024 hurricane season begins June 1, and Polk State College officials encourage students, faculty, and staff to be prepared.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an above average season, with a likely range of 17 to 25 named storms, of which eight to 13 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or greater, including four to seven major hurricanes that are deemed Category 3 or greater.

The forecast for named storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes is the highest ever issued by NOAA during its May forecast. An average storm season generates seven hurricanes and 14 named storms.

Should any predicted storm pose a threat to Polk County or the surrounding area, Polk State officials will communicate regularly to assess forecasts and determine whether changes to College operations will be needed to ensure safety and security.

Polk State announces information related to changes in College operations via www.polk.edu, Polk State’s social media accounts, phone messages, text messages to students and employees, and messages to Polk State email accounts, as well as through local TV, radio, and newspaper outlets.

In advance of this hurricane season, Polk State encourages each student and employee to log in to Passport  and check that all contact information is current under the “My Details” or “Change Contact Info” link. This will ensure the individual can receive emergency alerts from the College. Numbers entered in the “Cellular Number” field in the “Personal Information” section are used for emergency texts and phone messages.

In the event of a storm, facilities and security personnel remain vigilant and ensure that all buildings are safe and secure before welcoming students and employees back on campus.

The most important thing that a Polk State student or employee can do at the start of hurricane season is to think about personal preparations, such as obtaining critical resources, maintaining a list of contacts, determining evacuation routes, and building survival kits.

Some suggested resources for preparedness include:

Additionally, the 2024 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins Saturday, June 1, and runs through June 14 and then again from Aug. 24 through Sept. 6. A full list of qualifying items is available here: https://floridarevenue.com/DisasterPrep/Documents/2024/DPposter11X17.pdf.