Yesterday, Floridians faced the first storm of the 2006 Hurricane Season. In 2005, four hurricanes slammed Florida: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Many areas in our community were impacted at a time when the damage from 2004 was still lingering. This year, 4-6 major hurricanes are expected to make landfall from the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico. All Americans need to learn from the tragedy that followed Hurricane Katrina and be well prepared in 2006.

Unfortunately, many are still not prepared. A recent mass-email poll sent from my office reveals that 46% of respondents are not fully prepared for this hurricane season.

Fortunately, Tropical Storm Alberto weakened and never gained hurricane strength. By yesterday morning, winds had dropped to about 65 mph but still caused 21,000 homes and businesses to lose power by 10 a.m.

It seems that as a whole, we may have dodged a bullet with Alberto. I hope this "warm-up" gets us all prepared for the long storm-filled summer that is ahead of us.

Our office stands with Governor Jeb Bush and state and local authorities to serve Central Floridians during any disaster.