Hurricane Season

All posts tagged Hurricane Season

By AccuWeather

While lulls in tropical activity in the Atlantic will continue, a rapid end to the hurricane season in September does not always occur during an El Niño.

It is true that an El Niño can sometimes make the environment more hostile for tropical systems to form and survive faster than average. However, this is not always the case.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, “There are some years where the cause and effect nature of El Niño practically bring an early shut down to the Atlantic hurricane season and other years where we see tropical storms or hurricanes well into October.”

The average peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is around September 10, according to NOAA.

Continue reading at AccuWeather: Atlantic May Yield More Systems as Peak of Hurricane Season Nears Despite El Nino




By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

Hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean runs from June 1st to November 30th with a sharp peak in activity from late August through September. It was precisely this time period that Hurricane Katrina descended upon the gulf causing a still unknown number of deaths and over 108 billion dollars of damage. The resulting chaos and horror shocked and moved millions of people to lend assistance in the aftermath of this tragedy. After the storm left and the cleanup process began, millions more began to make preparations for themselves so they wouldn’t be faced with some of the tragedy the victims in the gulf had to live with.

Ten years later, the effects of Katrina still linger. The towns impacted are still not completely restored and may never be as they once were. The anniversary and season should be an opportunity for anyone who lives in areas prone to hurricanes to reflect on their preparations and make sure they have what is needed should a hurricane be forecast in the future. The list below isn’t exhaustive but I think it covers most of the bases that a good hurricane survival guide should account for. If you have taken care of the items below you will be much better off than many who survived hurricane Katrina. This list could end up saving some lives.

Should you stay or should you evacuate?

The decision to stay or evacuate needs to be evaluated early and often. At a certain point in the storm you will not be able to leave. Deciding quickly and before the storm is too near, based upon your circumstances and the forecast from the weather experts is best.

The strength of a storm is one indicator of the severity of damage you can expect. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is what is used to define and classify hurricane strength.

Category 1 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 74-95 MPH

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 96-110 MPH

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 111-129 MPH

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 130-156 MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5 Hurricane – Sustained Winds 157 MPH or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

To see an animation of the effects of the different wind intensities, check out this video below.

If you do decide that you will be evacuating, there are some other considerations.

  • Know where you are going – Don’t hit the highways without a plan or expect you will just find a hotel down the road an hour. During Katrina hotels were completely booked hours away from New Orleans in all directions. Having a friend or family member within a reasonable driving distance would be better.
  • Don’t wait until the last-minute – Roads out-of-town during an evacuation quickly become clogged with traffic. There are accidents, people run out of fuel and the whole interstate system can become a giant parking lot. If you are leaving, make sure you beat the crowd. In addition make sure you have a full tank and plenty of additional fuel. You may not be able to get to a gas station for many hours.
  • Plan on delays in coming back – Even after hurricanes have passed road conditions or security concerns can delay people from getting back to their homes. If you are forced to evacuate make sure you have proof that you live in your home. This can be as simple as a couple of bills and your driver’s license with current street address.
  • Lock house – This may sound obvious but before leaving you should lock your home up as tightly as possible and make preparations for debris.
  • Let friends, relatives and neighbors know where you are going – It is a good idea that someone knows where you are headed. This can be the people you are going to stay with or family members in other states. You don’t want them worrying about whether you are still alive if they aren’t able to contact you. Knowing you left before the hurricane hits will ease their mind and let them know hopefully how to reach you later.
  • Turn off power at the main breaker box – This should prevent any electrical damage that could be caused if your home is flooded.

Flooding is a major risk in hurricanes. Even well after the storm has passed.

Assuming you are staying put, you can expect services to be out and it helps to take some steps ahead of any outages to deal with issues as they arise after the hurricane.

What supplies do you need for a hurricane survival kit?

  • Water – At least one gallon per person for two weeks.
  • Food – Make sure you have at least a few days, better a month’s worth of food for each person. Your individual bug out bag is tailor-made for a short-term scenario like this and each should have many of the supplies on this list already.
  • Generator – A generator is perfect for situations like hurricanes as long as you have enough fuel. I would make sure to have at least a weeks’ worth of fuel on-hand but you likely won’t need to run your generator non-stop. You can store fuel for a very long time with a good fuel stabilizer. If the power is out you should not connect your generator to you home without a power transfer system. Ideally, you cut off power to the city electric and switch your home over to generator power. This will prevent anyone working on the line from getting electrocuted by your generator.
  • Battery operated radios – The simplest way to hear the news in a disaster situation like a hurricane is a good weather radio. This will not only warn of any additional approaching storms or floodwaters but keep you up to date with the situation outside your neighborhood if you are unable to get out. Spare batteries are a must.
  • Cash – No power means no AMT machines. Make sure you have a good amount of cash well before you are unable to get it out of the bank. This can make purchases after the hurricane much easier if credit card machines are down.A well stocked first aid kit, not a box of band-aids is a must in emergency situations.
  • One month medicine – Need any medicine to stay alive? Make sure you have enough stocked up to ride out the rebuilding process. Your local pharmacy might not be open for several days or months if they are struck directly. I would also stock up on your basic pain relievers and anti-inflammatory as well as any children’s fever reducing medicines you could conceivably need.
  • Can opener – Sure you can open a can without a can opener, but it is much simpler if you have a manual can opener to get to all of that non-perishable food you have in the pantry.
  • Flashlights – I recommend headlights for close in work like seeing what you are cooking, making your way through a dark building or assisting others. Headlamps allow you to be hands free. They are perfect for most situations, but a backup high lumen flashlight will really cut through the dark and could help in rescue situations.
  • First aid kit – Every family should have a very well stocked first aid kit. Moving around after a hurricane can cause injuries like burns or major cuts. You will need supplies to dress these wounds and keep them free from germs.
  • Charcoal/gas for grills – Grilling out is usually the best method of cooking when the grid goes down. Take those steaks out of the freezer and have a big party. After that, you can make pretty much any meal with the right cookware and some imagination on a grill.
  • Plastic tarps – Tarps are very light, cheap and useful. They can be used to keep you dry, temporarily patch roofs or keep the sun off your head. You should have several tarps around for general use.
  • Tools/wood/nails – These can be used to close off windows or make repairs after the storm is over.
  • Baby supplies (Diapers, wipes, formula) – The little ones need supplies too. Make sure you have a month worth of items they will need just in case.
  • Cleaning Supplies – You will still need to clean up and if you don’t have any running water, some simple cleaning supplies could make the job easier. If you home is damaged from flooding you will need a lot of bleach to disinfect everything that has come in contact with the flood waters. Disinfecting wipes, rags, scrubbing pads, sponges and cleaning gloves.
  • Mosquito repellent – Hurricanes never happen when you want them too. In hurricane areas you will likely still have hot sticky days and the mosquitoes will flourish in any flooded areas. Make sure you have plenty of repellent to keep them at bay.
  • Water filtration method/system – I prefer to always have a backup water filtration system that I can use for my family. I do have water stored, but eventually you may need to find sources and filter the water so it is safe for drinking. I have both a Berkey Light filter and Platypus GravityWorks. These two are dead simple to use and filter a lot of water quickly.

Hurricane Ivan

Do you have a pet survival kit?

You can’t forget about your pets either in a time like this and they should be taken with you if you decide to evacuate. You don’t want them left to die as so many were in Hurricane Katrina.

  • Make sure they have a collar with identification (rabies/Tag) so if you are separated, they will know who your pet belongs to. I would also add a tag with a (if found call) written on it.
  • Carrier if your pet is small enough and a leash regardless.
  • Plenty of food for two weeks minimum
  • Bowls for food and water – Collapsible bowls can be used in a pinch and take up less space.
  • Any medication your pets need
  • Poop bags for dogs. A litter box and spare litter for cats
  • Can opener if your food is in a can

This list isn’t everything you could possibly need, but hopefully it is a start and helps some of you to be more prepared for hurricane survival if you find yourself in that situation. Please let me know your ideas to add to this hurricane survival guide. Stay safe!

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Hurricane Survival Guide


Tropical Storm Arthur formed east of Florida on Tuesday morning with further strengthening likely as the system turns northward this week while hugging the East Coast.

The Hurricane Center projects the system could also become the season’s first hurricane during the week of Independence Day as millions of people head to the beach for vacation.

Arthur is forecast to strengthen and drift northward into Thursday, then curve northeastward along the East Coast on Friday into the weekend.

According to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, “As the dry air and wind shear diminish this week, there will be room for Arthur to strengthen.”

How nasty the weather gets on the Atlantic coast will depend on its proximity to the coast and strength of Arthur as it passes by. There is a possibility of a period of heavy rain, gusty thunderstorms and coastal flooding. Building surf and increasing rip currents are likely.

People heading to the beaches on the Atlantic coast from Florida to southern New England can expect a couple of days of rough surf, on average but not a spoiler to the entire week.

“This is a situation where the surf and strong rip current risk builds as Arthur strengthens and begins to track northward,” Kottlowski said.

For people heading to Daytona Beach and Jacksonville Beach, Florida, northward to South Carolina’s Grand Strand, expect building surf with a couple of rounds of drenching, gusty thunderstorms on Wednesday into Thursday.

“In the United States, Arthur will have the greatest impact from eastern North Carolina to Long island and Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” Kottlowski said.

“The strongest winds are likely to stay to the east and northeast of the center.”

Along North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the worst weather and surf conditions will be on Thursday into Friday. Impacts in eastern North Carolina will range from locally drenching thunderstorms to the effects of a Category 1 hurricane.

The worst conditions from Arthur are likely to be on Thursday night into Friday around the Delmarva Peninsula and New Jersey, then on Friday into early Saturday over Long Island and Cape Cod. Episodes of drenching rain, thunderstorms and a period of stiff winds are likely.

From parts of eastern North Carolina to southeastern Virginia, the Delmarva Peninsula, New Jersey, Long Island and Cape Cod, there is the potential for coastal flooding at times of high tide within 12 hours of the center of Arthur passing by, even if the center was to stay offshore. As Arthur is passing this part of the coastline, it could be a hurricane.

People in low-lying areas of the coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts will want to check the tide schedule prior to the storm’s arrival. Within an hour of so of high tide on the day Arthur is forecast to pass by is when coastal flooding is most likely. This may include some access roads and streets right along the beach.

To make the matter more complex, a front drifting in from the Midwest may stall for a while along the Atlantic Seaboard.

According to AccuWeather Long-Range Expert Paul Pastelok, “As tropical moisture interacts with the front, very heavy downpours may erupt along the I-95 corridor late in the week.”

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While the setup is likely to produce a zone of heavy rain and flash flooding, it is not likely to produce tornadoes along the I-95 corridor.

Dry air is likely to be drawn in soon after Arthur passes by. Odds favor sunshine late this week over much of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

“If Arthur takes a northeastward turn late in the week, as we suspect, rain and thunderstorms will begin to shift eastward and out to sea Friday afternoon and evening so that the weather improves for fireworks Friday night from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia and New York City,” Pastelok said.

There is a threat of windswept rain on Friday night for Boston and in parts of southeastern New England.

Arthur will be passing by Nova Scotia and Newfoundland this weekend with rough seas, gusty winds and locally heavy rain.

Interests along the Atlantic coast and fishing and shipping interests offshore will need to monitor the track and intensity of Arthur this week. will continue to provide updates.

Meanwhile, in the Eastern Pacific, Tropical Storm Douglas and the remnants of Elida were spinning to the southeast of Mexico.

Content above, contributed by Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist.


More at AccuWeather: Arthur May Bear Down on North Carolina as a Hurricane

By Kristen Rodman

As summer 2014 takes shape, Mother Nature will show no mercy as the West will sink deeper into drought and severe thunderstorms will ignite from the Plains to the southern mid-Atlantic.

While a typical summer is in store for much of the East, hurricane season looms, threatening areas along the coast. While this year’s hurricane season is expected to be below normal, two systems may make landfall in the United States.

JUMP TO: Drought to Intensify in the West, Texas| Below-Normal Hurricane Season | Cool for Great Lakes | Strongest Heat Arrives Late Summer in East | Central, Southern Mid-Atlantic Storm Battle Zone Takes Form

Drought to Intensify in the West, Texas

Following the driest year ever recorded for the state of California, the summer season will lock in the drought for the Golden State and cause drought conditions to expand into the Northwest.

With above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall expected from Phoenix to Los Angeles and up through Seattle, much of the West will undergo a dry spell this summer.

“The temperatures this summer will be dictated by where it’s dry,” Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

As the drought strengthens across the Southwest, the temperatures in this region will heat up quickly due to dry conditions.

Across the West, temperatures will rise quickly heading into June 21, 2014, with highs reaching into the 90s and 100s in the valleys of California. Even farther north, the mercury will climb above seasonal normals frequently by midsummer.

“We are going to see the 90s and 100s popping up pretty quickly in the valleys and even the 90s showing up in the big cities such as Seattle and Portland as we get into midsummer,” Pastelok said.

As dryness increases across the region, wildfires could prove troublesome for the Northwest this summer. As the wildfire risk heightens, minimal rainfall and lack of water will continue to hit the agricultural and livestock industries hard across the region, limiting fruit and nut production in the U.S.

“They are going to go into a very dry period, and that could lead to some big problems as we get into the middle to later parts of the summer,” Pastelok said.

 While the drought tightens its grip on the West this summer, the West may not be the only region with a major drought.

As June and July heat up across southern Texas and the tropics remain relatively tranquil in the western Gulf of Mexico, rain will consistently bypass the state.

“We could have a drought developing in the lower valley of Texas along the Gulf Coast, southeast Texas and the lower Mississippi Valley,” Pastelok said.

Only two years after the state’s previous drought battle in 2011, areas from Brownsville up through San Antonio and Dallas will be at risk for another drought situation this year.

Below-Normal Hurricane Season

While the heart of hurricane season is not until the tail end of the summer season in August and September, roughly 10 named tropical storms and five hurricanes are expected in the Atlantic Basin this season.

According to Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, of those five hurricanes two major hurricanes are predicted to make landfall in the U.S.

Although this season’s tropical storm and hurricane count is expected to be statistically below average, with seasonal averages at 15 storms and eight hurricanes, it takes only one storm to create massive destruction, as Hurricane Andrew proved in August of 1992 when it struck Florida and Louisiana.

Despite reduced activity in the Atlantic Basin, the Pacific Basin will be extremely active this season with 19 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes predicted.

Cool for Great Lakes

With their second highest ice coverage on record, the Great Lakes reached their peak ice coverage on March 6, 2014, with 92.19 percent of the lakes encrusted in ice. Despite the spring season, as of April 16, the lakes were still 38 percent covered by ice.

“There are no years in the last 30 years that are even close to that, so it’s very unusual this late in the season to have that much ice coverage,” Pastelok said.

This image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite, shows the Great Lakes on Feb. 19, 2014, when ice covered 80.3 percent of the lakes. (Satellite Image/MODIS)

The extent of the ice coverage still present on the lakes will make water temperature recovery very difficult and, as a result, may have a huge impact on the summer weather for the region including some of the U.S.’s major cities, such as Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo, N.Y.

“It’s going to affect the overall atmosphere around the region,” Pastelok said. “It may be a bit on the cooler side.”

In addition to cooler weather for the area, the lagging lake temperatures could lead to less severe weather near the lakes, as storms track farther south.

Strongest Heat Arrives Late Summer in East

A relatively normal summer weather pattern is in store for much of the East this year with temperatures expected to be back and forth in June and July.

In the I-95 corridor, temperatures will average out to near or slightly above average for the summer, as thunderstorms sporadically pop up in the area, according to Pastelok.

Despite normal temperature ranges in the midsummer months, areas from Washington, D.C., up through Boston are expected to heat up quickly in May before returning to more seasonal temperatures in June and July.

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To end the summer, August will bring the hottest weather of the summer to cities along the coast.

Farther south, the Southeast and Florida will experience a fairly typical summer with spotty thunderstorms and near-average temperatures and humidity.

Central, Southern Mid-Atlantic Storm Battle Zone Takes Form

Between the warmth in Texas and the cooler trend in the Great Lakes region, a battle zone of unsettled weather will set up.

Severe storms will erupt in the Midwest, Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and into the Carolinas in June and July, due to the vast differences between the two weather patterns neighboring the areas. Some of these storms, however, will make their way into the southern mid-Atlantic region, putting the region at risk for many storms this summer.

The sun sets across southwestern Kansas as a storm supercell remains in the sky, following a severe weather outbreak in the area on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (Photo/Cory Mottice)

“Expect a few severe weather events here, which will be a dividing area of cooler air across the Great Lakes and warmer air building along the Gulf Coast,” Pastelok said.

Farther west, moisture from the Pacific Ocean will be ushered into the Rockies at times, helping to fuel numerous thunderstorms and threats for flash flooding in the area.

“Early [tropical] development there will send some moisture up through New Mexico and into the Four Corners region, so they will get their dose of rain,” Pastelok said. “They could have some flooding issues around Denver down towards Albuquerque during the course of the summer.”

While rain and thunderstorms could lead to flash flooding in the Rockies, the increase in moisture should help to limit wildfires in the area.

However, some of the moisture in the Rockies will move into the Plains and, when combined with an offset upper high in the region, will set up yet another battleground for thunderstorms and showers throughout the summer.



Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kristen Rodman at, follow her on Twitter @Accu_Kristen or Google+. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.  

More at AccuWeather: Summer 2014: Series of Storms to Attack Central US, Mid-Atlantic

By Kristen Rodman

1. Peak of Hurricane Season

“All the ingredients necessary for tropical development come together in late August, September and October,” AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

Creating the perfect recipe for tropical development, warm water temperatures, favorable upper-level winds and less dry air make late summer and early fall the ideal time for hurricane formation.

“The bulk of these systems will come in September and probably early October, but it looks to me that we’re heading into a late season with a storm here and there through November,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

RELATED: Fall and Winter Forecast Hurricane Center Severe Weather Center

Throughout the summer, water temperatures continue to rise in the Atlantic Ocean hitting their warmest temperatures and peaking in September. This increase in water temperature coupled with the transition of Africa’s spring non-tropical waves to tropical waves in late August become the main driving force behind early fall tropical development in the ocean.

The westerly winds shift more northward in August and September, promoting upper-level winds that are favorable for tropical development. Additionally, unlike the early summer months, the presence of African dust is limited and the air becomes less dry in the late summer.

Workers haul equipment to a house construction site in the Breezy Point community in New York’s Queens borough on Wednesday, July 24, 2013. It is the first house to be rebuilt in the beachfront community where more than 110 homes burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

All of these factors combined with the right conditions can create the ideal scenario for a hurricane to form as proven by Superstorm Sandy last October.

“Around this time, we should see a lot more development,” Kottlowski said.

However, the main concern for a tropical system this fall is flooding. Multiple areas this summer were slammed with heavy rainfall, but areas hit the hardest, like the Southeast, will have the highest risk for flash flooding if hit by a tropical system.

2. Early-Season Snowstorms

Snow in the fall season brings dangers of its own as many trees are still adorned with their fall colors. Early-season snow is not light and powdery but instead heavy and wet, not only bad for avid skiers and snowboarders but also for power lines.

“With leaves still on trees, snow adds more weight to trees and power lines making them more prone to collapse,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. This could result in power outages and road closures.

AP Photo October Leaves: Leaves adorned with fall colors are covered with snow on a day when the northern New Jersey region was hit with a rare October snowstorm, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, in North Bergen, N.J. Heavy snow could pose a danger of broken limbs because it is early in the fall season and the leaves have not fallen off trees. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Predicted to be the coldest month in the Northeast, November will be the month to be on the lookout for possible snow. According to Pastelok, under the correct conditions, early-season snow could fall in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and perhaps even from Washington, D.C., to New York City.

Colder weather, which could lead to snow, in late October and November across the central Plains and the Midwest is also predicted by Pastelok.

3. Fog

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jeff Kubina

With the potential to create hazardous driving conditions and travel delays for early morning commutes, fog is third on the list for fall weather’s biggest threats.

“Fog is a product of longer, cooler nights and lower overnight lows,” Edwards said. Fall is the ideal time for the formation of fog as there are lower nighttime lows, cooler temperatures overall and lower humidity that can more easily meet the dew point.

Fog is can last for multiple hours on end and is usually most dense in the fall months in river valleys.

4. Early Frost

“The biggest threat into the fall for frost is outside cities in the rural areas,” Edwards said. Inside most cities the pavement is typically warm, and this can prevent early frost from occurring but out in more rural areas, pavement is not as prevalent.

The Midwest and northern Plains could see an early frost or freeze sometime in September, earlier than usual. Temperatures in these areas are predicted to hit the mid- to low 30s, potentially ending the growing season for soybean and corn farmers and hurting the area’s economy.

“An early frost could kill sensitive crops before they have finished the growing cycle,” said Edwards.

By Jillian MacMath

With the start of hurricane season for the Atlantic basin on June 1, residents and homeowners from the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico should prepare for an active season.

Though nothing threatened the Atlantic Basin in the month of May, early June development is still anticipated.

“Next week or next weekend, around the seventh or eighth of June, we could end up with an organized tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico,” Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said.

The system has the capability to develop and intensify very quickly as it moves over warm water.

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Though the system is not a remnant of Barbara, the second named storm that formed in the eastern Pacific, it could contain moisture from the remnant low.

“At this point it’s really difficult to see what kind of system we’ll be dealing with,” he said. “We’re certainly keeping an eye on it.”

Current information suggests that the greatest potential for impact would be in the eastern and northern Gulf of Mexico, including the west coast of Florida, the panhandle and eastern Louisiana including New Orleans.

“I would advise people in northern and eastern portions of the Gulf of Mexico to be in touch with the weather next week,” Kottlowski said.

For the season as a whole,’s long-range team predicts 16 named tropical storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes. Of these, three named storms are predicted to make landfall in the United States.

The Gulf Coast, Florida and East Coast are all at risk for impact this hurricane season.

More at AccuWeather-Atlantic Basin Heats Up for Start of Hurricane Season.


Hurricane season is here once again and it’s no doubt to be full of action. May 26 through June 1, 2013 is Hurricane Preparedness Week so are you prepared?  The National Weather Service and local authorities are responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready  before a storm approaches.

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

The official Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30.  As peak season approaches it is important to understand and prepare for hurricane hazards, even if you don’t live right on the coast. So it’s time to get your supplies ready just in case you need them.

Hurricanes can cause major damage to the coastline from storm surges, winds in excess of 150 miles per hour and torrential rainfall which leads to flooding; this includes miles inland even as these massive storms are downgraded once they hit land.

Sandy_Oct_25_2012_0400ZHurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history. Sandy was a Category 3 storm at its peak intensity when it made landfall in Cuba. While it was a Category 2 storm off the coast of the Northeastern United States, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter, with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km). Preliminary estimates assess damage at nearly $75 billion (2012 USD), a total surpassed only by Hurricane Katrina. At least 285 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. The severe and widespread damage the storm caused in the United States, as well as its unusual merge with a frontal system, resulted in the nicknaming of the hurricane by the media and several organizations of the U.S. government “Superstorm Sandy“.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare for a hurricane:

  • Build an Emergency Kit and a have an evacuation plan.
  • Identify potential hazards such as dams and levees in your area that could fail and cause flooding.
  • Figure out the elevation of your home and property and its potential flooding from storm surge or torrential rains.
  • Identify your evacuation routes and where there is higher ground if you need to evacuate in a hurry. Have several options available and planned out so you’re not surprised in the event your first option is unavailable or cut-off.
  • Make plans to secure your property and livestock.
  • Have materials ready to be able to cover windows, such as marine plywood or storm shutters, already fitted for the area you will be covering.
  • Install additional strapping to secure your roof to the framing of your home or other structures such as garages, sheds and barns. Reinforce any doors and cover windows on these structures.
  • Keep trees and landscaping trimmed so they are more wind resistant and identify any possible hazards such as old rotten trees, branches or the like that may be blown down and may cause damage to property or injuries to people or animals.
  • Bring in all outdoor decorations, furniture, garbage and landscaping cans that can be blown away by high winds or is not tied down and secure.
  • If you own a boat make plans to secure it.
  • Consider installing an emergency generator or alternate energy source for the power outages that follow such events.
  • Check your Insurance coverage; your insurance may not cover flood damage.
  • Stay informed by TV and radio stations.
  • Evacuate when instructed by authorities or if you live in a low-lying area that is prone to flooding or live in a mobile home in any coastal area or flood plain.

If you have to evacuate, you’ll need supplies so be sure to have a 72-hour kit or bug-out bag stocked and ready to go. Remember to include things like extra clothing, important documents, prescription medications, first-aid supplies, food, water, portable radio and other personal and hygiene items. There are lots of pre-made kits on the market which makes this is a great option to get you a base kit and then you can add your own personal touches to create something that fits your personal needs.

After the hurricane and it is safe to return home you should be prepared to face wide-spread power outages and other services that may be disrupted for days or even weeks. This means even though your home and you have survived you may need to be on your own for an extended period of time so you will need supplies and other resources to get you through. You should consider installing an emergency generator or alternate energy source for the power outages that follow such events. Also you may want to have an emergency food storage source available with ways of storing,  gathering and disinfecting water. I would suggest a 2 week supply of both just to be safe but you know your area and resource availability so do what makes you comfortable.

Hopefully by following these tips and suggestions you and your family will feel safe and secure to make it through hurricane season this year and for years to come.




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