Message from the Police Department
The 2017 Hurricane season brought us Hurricane Irma. With Irma we experienced severe weather that created property damage and power outages. Fortunately for us, the storm moved far enough north that it kept us out of the most extreme conditions of the storm. Though we did not experience the severe conditions, Irma and Hurricane Matthew the year before, gave us a sobering reminder that a hurricane can hit us at any time and that we should always – HAVE A PLAN AND BE PREPARED!
The hurricane season begins on June 1st, and for our residents who live here all year, it is important to be familiar with hurricane watches and warnings, in order to be prepared, and understand the necessary actions that need to be taken in the event a storm threatens the area.
A Hurricane Watch indicates that hurricane storm conditions are possible in the specified geographic areas within 48 hours.
A Hurricane Warning indicates that hurricane storm conditions are expected in the specified area usually within 36 hours.
Hurricanes are categorized by wind strength on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Category 1 storm on the scale storm means wind speeds range from 74 mph to 95 mph.
Category 2 storm brings winds of 96 mph to 110 mph.
Category 3 storm equates to winds of 111 mph to 130 mph.
Category 4 storm has winds of 131 mph to 155 mph. An
Category 5 storm is the highest on the scale, with winds greater than 155 mph.
As a barrier island, Highland Beach is in a MANDATORY EVACUATION ZONE when Hurricanes rated as a Category 2 or higher are expected to make landfall. The Town of Highland Beach follows Palm Beach County’s Emergency Operations Center Evacuation orders and policies.
The Town has a comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and Town staff are trained and prepared for hurricanes or any natural or man-made disasters that may occur. Additionally, our dedicated members of the CERT Program are trained and ready to assist the Town should it become necessary.
For the last 2 hurricane seasons, the Town’s CodeRED notification system has been the most effective means of disseminating critical and timely information to our residents. If you have not done so yet, please make it a priority to register for CodeRED which can be done through the Town’s website or visiting Town Hall or Police Department.
We hope it will be an uneventful hurricane season but, every hurricane season is different and can vary drastically. As Floridians, we all know it can only take one devastating storm, to be a bad hurricane season.
Click on these important links to assist with your hurricane plan:
- Palm Beach County Emergency Guide (PBC Emergency Management Website)
- Food and Water in an emergency (PDF)
- Emergency Supply Kit Shopping List
- Hurricane Safety Checklist from the American Red Cross (PDF)
Evacuation and Shelters:
- Hurricane Evacuation Zone Look-up Tool
- Palm Beach County Animal Shelter Map
- Special Needs Shelter Application (PDF)
- Pet Friendly Shelter Registration (PDF)
- NOAA Extreme Weather Contact Information Sheet NOAA Info Sheet (PDF)
- National Hurricane Center Atlantic Basin Hurricane Tracking Chart (PDF)
- Tropical storm names from NOAA
Activities for Kids: