Watch vs. Warning

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(By Fire Chief Matt Love) As we continue through the busiest months of hurricane season we strive to reiterate the importance of being aware and being prepared.  

It is important that our residents and visitors understand what the National Weather Service watches and warnings are and what they mean. 

watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur, or “be on guard”!  During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action – monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family. 

warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent – it is either occurring or it is about to occur. During a weather warning, it is important to take action:  grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.  Here is some information that might be helpful:

  • Tropical Storm Watch:  An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are possible within specified areas.
  • Hurricane Watch:  An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area.
  • Hurricane Warning:  An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area.

Be prepared and stay safe.

Chief Love has been the Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief since 2016. In 2019 he was selected by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Lee County Florida as Fire Chief of the Year, and in 2020 he was named District Manager of the year for the state of Florida by the FASD.  He can be reached at the fire department headquarters at 239- 590-4200