Hurricane Season Predictions for 2016
National Hurricane Preparedness Week ended on Saturday, May 21st. The Weather Channel has released it's 2016 Hurricane season prediction, and it seems like this year will be quite an active year.
The Weather Channel (https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2016-hurricane-season-forecast-atlantic-the-weather-channel) predicts that the 2016 hurricane season is going to be a very active season, with an average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 Category 3 or above. This means that the outlook for this season is the most active season we have seen since 2012.
Look to the Past to Prepare for Hurricane Season
In 1992 Hurricane Andrew slammed into the South Florida coast as a Category 5 hurricane and devastated the coast. In 1983 Hurricane Alicia hit the Houston-Galveston area as Category 3, and caused almost as much damage as Andrew did in South Florida. The 2005 hurricane season was the last time the U.S. saw a Category 3 or higher hurricane (Wilma) hit the coast. So what should you do to prepare? FEMA has put together a comprehensive resource document that is quite helpful (https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1409003345844-0e142725ea3984938c8c6748dd1598cb/How_To_Prepare_Guide_Hurricane.pdf).
Hurricane Preparation Tips
Here are some preparation tips to get you starting thinking about how to protect your family:
1. Know your area. Do you live in an evacuation area? Is your area subject to flooding? What of your surrounding environment – are there trees that could potentially fall on your home? Other items that are vulnerable to wind in excessive amounts?
2. Compile and keep a list of contact information for reference, including your local emergency management office, law enforcement, public safety / fire / rescue, local hospitals, local utilities, local American Red Cross, local TV and radio stations.
3. Compile all documents in one place that you will want to take with you. Suggested documents include your homeowners insurance policy (make sure you have contact information for your agent and how to file a claim), vehicle insurance policies, boat insurance policies, and even your life insurance policies
4. Should you be forced to evacuate, where will you go? Research where your local shelters will be set up, and when will they open. Shelters typically will not allow pets, so have a plan in place that includes your pets.
5. If you evacuate, allow enough time to pack and to let your friends and family know your evacuation plans.
6. Fill your car tanks with fuel ahead of the stor
7. In a hurricane or other natural disaster you can expect power outages. Have plenty of cash on hand in case your area experiences a long power outage.
8. Stock up on non-perishable items – soup, canned veggies, meat, etc.
9. Fill your sinks and bathtubs with water – again, if you experience a power interruption, fresh water may also be impacted.
Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best ~ Additional Tips
Before Hurricane Season:
•If you are a coastal resident, know all evacuation routes and evacuation rules.
•Create an evacuation plan: how to evacuate, where you will evacuate to (local shelter, another area, etc).
•Make sure that your home meets the building codes for withstanding hurricanes, and if required, it has hurricane shutters.
•Have on hand any tools or supplies you think you may need.
•Have an up-to-date first aid kit on hand.
•Have plenty of candles, matches, batteries and flashlights
•Plenty of non-perishable foods and water on hand.
•Plenty of propane or gas for outdoor grilling, in the event of power loss.
•A backup generator and plenty of fuel.
When a Watch or a Warning is Issued:
•Leave low lying areas.
•Protect windows with plywood boards, or hurricane shutters.
•Secure all outside objects.
•Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water.
•Have several days supply of food and water for each family member.
•If your area is told to evacuate, do so immediately.