Hurricane Preparedness Ahead of the June 1 Start of the 2019 Atlantic Season Begins Now
The NOAA and the National Weather Service promote hurricane awareness and preparation every year near the first week of May. This year, Hurricane Preparedness Week begins May 5th with urgent messages to prepare before the first storms form. When Hurricanes make landfall, they cause widespread destruction with storm surge, inland flooding, tornadoes, and extreme winds.
Storm Surge and Inland Flooding take more lives and cause more damage all the other primary and secondary hazards combined. As the hurricane spins, the wind builds a mound of water that surges ashore as the hurricane reaches land. Inland flooding caused by torrential rain can cover large areas of land in just hours. NWS, FEMA, and Homeland Security advocate Hurricane Disaster Planning before the season along with state and local officials. Social Media Campaigns use the hashtags #HurricaneStrong, #HurricanePrep, and #ItOnlyTakesOne.
The past three years have accumulated some impressive statistics. The 2017 Hurricane Season Set New Records with 10 consecutive hurricanes including six major hurricanes and seven tropical storms. 2016 added 15 named storms, seven hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. 2018 brought another 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. In three years, 25 hurricanes and 12 major hurricanes plus 21 tropical storms.
Long-range forecasts vary, but overall agree on a near-average 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The forecasts include the possibility of two major hurricanes impacting the United States. Norwall PowerSystems (www.norwall.com) urges everyone along the East Coast and Gulf Coast to learn about Hurricane Risks and Make Plans ahead of Hurricane Season.
In 2019, the long-range forecast calls for 12 to 14 named storms including five to seven hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The months of August, September, and October bring the most storms, but that isn’t always the case. If the current El Nino in the Pacific Ocean remains weak, the Atlantic Season could turn more active than an average season.
Travis LaVallie at Norwall said, “Completing a Hurricane Disaster Plan puts you three steps ahead of everyone who didn’t make a plan. You have everything needed to safeguard your home and family, the supplies to make it through the storm, and a Backup Source of Electrical Power. If the order to evacuate comes, you know where to go and can beat the traffic jam with the emergency evacuation kit packed in your car.”
When forecasters mention the possibility of a hurricane, people flood local stores and buy what they can. Local supplies dwindle to nothing in hours. Putting your plan together before the season begins ensures that you have the supplies while everyone else it out buying them. Having a plan to evacuate allows you to do so within hours instead of prepping and planning for a day.