So the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted another active hurricane season in the Atlantic.
The article reads, “ May 20, 2021 – NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.”
Oh how these weather people love their percentages and predictions. Can you tell I’m not your ordinary weather gal?
But my big question is “Where was I last year?” Obviously I wasn’t paying attention to the weather very much since I seemed to have missed the fact that it was pretty high according to NOAA.
But I digress. So NOAA predicts between 13 and 20 named storms with winds of higher than 39 mph and NOAA has 21 names ready to go for the 2021 storm season!
NOAA says 6 to 10 of those named storms could become hurricanes, meaning they would have winds of 74 mph or higher.
Of those 6 to 10 hurricanes NOAA predicts between 3 to 5 major hurricanes, meaning they would be in the categories of 3, 4 or 5, with winds of 111 mph or higher.
Here comes another prediction, wait for it…. “NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.”
The Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1 through November 30.
So we’ve already been in the hurricane season for half a month. Whew so far so good for us on the East Coast. So far things are quiet here.
A view of tropical activity in the Atlantic as of 6-17-21
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
So in the spirit of Preparation…
Here are some steps you can take now to prepare for severe weather along with a few resources to get you started. Feel free to search the internet for more ideas, but remember your emergency plan is as unique as you are. Only you can anticipate all of your families needs so try roll playing, maybe take a night and turn off the power and unplug the phone and internet. Take a moment to make notes, (using a good flashlight and notebook) to think of all the things you will need in case of an emergency.
Some items to think about:
Do you know all of your families phone numbers by heart? Consider getting some of those mini composition books and writing key phone numbers in them. You could distribute them to your family members in case you are separated and your phones can’t be charged.
What medications will you need in case of long power failures. Remember often time stores power goes down and not all are equipped with generators. Be sure to have a plan to stock up on prescription meds well before a storm approaches or you have to evacuate.
Keep abreast of weather but remember posting your plans on Social Media to stay or go during a storm or any other time can leave you, your family or property vulnerable to crime.
Look around your home for items that can easily be blown around and become projectiles. Make a plan to secure these items during high wind events or flooding. A large wooden bench floating down a flood road can damage many vehicles. So don’t just think about items flying away. Consider items that could also float away.
Make a meet-up plan in case your family is separated. This could be as simple as meeting in the front of your home in case of fire and you all have to get out through different exits. To meeting in a central location in town if a tornado strikes when everyone is away from home, to meeting in a nearby town if your family is scattered throughout the state when a disaster strikes.
If you purchase a generator, portable cooking appliances and portable heating such as propane stoves, be sure all members of the household are familiar with the proper operation, safety consideration etc. Remember to check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
Teach children to keep refrigerators and freezers closed during power outages and how to recognized spoiled food. Make sure you have manual can openers for safe access to canned food and for the adults remember to pack a cork screw, you might just need it.
Remember these are just a few suggestions and only YOU can plan effectively for your family so take time to plan ahead for disasters and hopefully you will never need it.
For some more suggestions on preparedness here is what FEMA recommends to prepare for a hurricane. Proper Emergency Kit Essential to Hurricane Preparedness
Photo Credit: All images courtesy of NOAA