Post by: Gina Stone
Hurricanes are some of the most awe inspiring and dangerous storms on our planet. A beauty to look at from satellite, but a heartbreaker in terms of damage and loss. As Hurricane Awareness Week begins today, May 22, NOAA has predicted 10 hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, and estimates between 3 and 6 becoming a major hurricane (Category 3, 4, or 5). There is no better time than now to start getting ready.
Atlantic Basin hurricane season starts on June 1. We’ve already seen some indications of an active season with early Invests forming in the Atlantic. So what are you going to do this season?
The good news: Hurricanes are some of the most studied storms and provide the most warning. The bad news, most people procrastinate getting ready until the last minute, when prices are up, tempers are short, and shelves are bare.
- Know your evacuation routes. And use them if you are in the evacuation zone. Some recent routes have changed, check with your local government for the latest updates.
- Buy your plywood or other storm shutters early, before the rush (and while prices are cheaper).
- Consider purchasing a generator, and know the SAFE way to use it. It is likely you will have extended power outages.
- Know how to safely store your food for longer periods.
- Stay away from the coast.
Storm surge is one of the more dangerous aspects of hurricanes. While it was endlessly amusing to watch Geraldo Rivera get wiped out by the storm surge of Hurricane Ike, it was a very real safety threat.
Now I know Southern Californians are thinking they can breathe a sigh of relief, “Finally, a disaster we don’t have to worry about”. Wrong. Pacific basin borne cyclones have hit Southern California and into Arizona; substantially weakened by the cooler water and moving over land, but damaging nonetheless with winds, flooding, deadly lightning, and the possibility of tornadoes.
The National Hurricane Center has released a new series of hurricane preparedness videos available here in both English and Spanish, and with subtitles for the hearing impaired.
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