Calm before the storm
As of June first, the 2013 hurricane season is officially upon us. The long, tense season lasts until November 30th, and although it’s easy to think this year wont be your year, it might be time to rethink your hurricane preparedness plan.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a very active Atlantic hurricane season for 2013. In fact, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher).
Of those, NOAA also predicts 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 79 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher).
The seasonal average is 12 named storms, with six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Get prepared now
It doesn’t take a long history lesson to understand the damage a hurricane is possible of. The difference between being prepared and not, can make the difference in yours and your families life. If you live in a hurricane risk zone than there is no time like the present to get prepared for what could be a treacherous season ahead.
FEMA has a list of measures that will help get you and your family prepared for the storm, during the storm and after. It is extremely important to know what to do in all three phases of a hurricane or any major storm your location might be acceptable to.
In the event that a major evacuation is required, it is important to review your local escape routes and family emergency plan to be ready for such an occasion. FEMA has also prepared an evacuation guideline for your review, to ensure you are completely ready for an evacuation.
Why this year?
The NOAA states that three climate factors will come together this season which will account for the increase in hurricanes. These factors are:
- A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995
- Warmer temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea
- No El Niño expected this year that would normally suppress hurricane formation
It is important to note that while the NOAA is on record of predicting a busy hurricane season along the Atlantic coast, it does not predict actual landfall. Their predictions are based off storm formations, rather than actual placement. As the season progresses you can monitor individual storms by their location and impact throughout the season on the National Hurricane Center.
Forecast models, data gathering, and the National Hurricane Center communication procedure for post-tropical cyclones are all getting upgraded for the 2013 hurricane season. Starting in July, the NOAA will also launch a new supercomputer that will run an upgraded Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model that will offer significantly better depiction of storm structure and strength forecast guidance.
The NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will also be transmitting Doppler radar in real time for the first time in 2013. This will allow forecasters to better analyze evolving conditions and improve the HWRF model forecasts by 10 to 15 percent.
Know your resources
The impact of a major hurricane can have devastating effects on your family and livelihood. If you live in an area that could be impacted by a hurricane, take the time to get to know the resources available to you ahead of time. Use the FEMA information on the right side of this page to link to a list of resources possibly available to you.
Also, it is important to involve yourself in community programs and understand the local procedures for evacuations, shelters, and emergency contact information.
Don’t wait until it’s to late! Hurricane season is here and the fall peak is right around the corner. Get ready now and take the pledge to prepare, joining a national coalition of prepared citizens across the hurricane zones.
- September is National Preparedness Month
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- October Is National Work And Family Month
- Tornado 101
- OSHA Update: Winter Storms
- Will Climate Change Impact Worker Safety?