According to the 2019 Hurricane Forecast, as many as 14 tropical storms are predicted this year. It could be a destructive hurricane season and based on the forecast, two to four of the projected storms are expected to turn into serious large-scale hurricanes. If you live in a hurricane danger zone, the real question is: are you prepared?
Hurricane season kicked off on June 1, but if last year is any indication, we could be in for another rough ride. The season lasts until November 30, so you still have some time to make sure you’ve got your home prepared. In order to get an accurate prediction, forecasters have been pulling data from past years that show similar weather patterns (AKA analog years). This year, for example, resembles 1969 weather-wise, during which the Category 5 Hurricane Camille wreaked havoc on the Gulf coastline.
Time to Get Ready
2018 saw its fair share of severe weather. Last year, there were 15 storms and eight hurricanes including Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence. According to AccuWeather forecasters, 2019 will pan out to be a “near- to slightly above-normal season,” with the potential for 12-14 tropical storms. Their preliminary report adds that, of those 14, five to seven storms could have hurricane potential, and an additional two to four could develop into major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5).
After an active Atlantic hurricane season in 2018, AccuWeather forecasters are predicting 2019 to result in a near- to slightly above-normal season with 12 to 14 storms: https://t.co/dqzA0H6w26 pic.twitter.com/g4s52UCWQ0
— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) April 4, 2019
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explains that an average hurricane season sees 12 storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. “This year, at least the climate pattern has the capability to produce several very strong storms and so people should not let their guard down,” explained AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski. He added that “just about all coastal areas look like they have equal chances” in the upcoming season.
Are You Prepared?
If you live in a place warranting hurricane preparations, now is the time to get prepared. Even if this season is less severe than forecasters originally predicted, it won’t hurt to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. We’ve put together a quick and easy guide to help you get prepped.
Related article: 20 Preparedness Articles To Help You Get Prepped
Having preparedness resources printed out in a binder will help you stay organized and on track as far as getting your supplies together. Further, you can use these print outs if you find yourself in an off-grid scenario when turning on the computer or turning to the iPad won’t get you very far. One such resource was written by Ready Nutrition’s Tess Pennington, The Prepper’s Blueprint.
“I believe that to fully insulate yourself from a disaster of any kind, you need to have a layered effect with your supplies. This will create a well-rounded approach and ensure that you are prepared for the smallest disasters to the most severe circumstances.
Penninton goes on and says, “If we have learned one thing studying the history of disasters it is this: those who are prepared have a better chance at survival than those who are not. A crisis rarely stops with a triggering event. The aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. –The Prepper’s Blueprint
What to Prepare For
You must plan for evacuations and for sheltering in place
One of the largest concerns during a disaster situation is when to evacuate. According to FEMA, evacuations occur far more frequently than we realize.
Hundreds of times each year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes on a moments notice.
Natural disasters such as fires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes also cause evacuations. Almost once a year, people along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts evacuate in the face of approaching hurricanes.
Planning is key with evacuations because, in this situation, timing is everything. The first thing you want to do is to create a family based emergency plan along with multiple evacuation routes. Use this checklist to do so. Then, you will want to prepare your vehicle and pack up your essentials. Make sure you are keeping up to date with the latest evacuation and hurricane news so you know when and if you need to evacuate.
Planning to shelter in place requires a lot of forethought. Your short-term needs for sheltering in place for up to two weeks will involve supplies such as water, food, clothing, shelter, communication, tools, fuel, skillsets, and resources.
Supplies and Tools
One of the best ways to get prepared is by using a checklist and gather items before a hurricane threatens your area. This way, you can take your time gathering necessary items and supplies without being pressed for time. This is the checklist Pennington used when her family lived in Houston, TX – an area prone to hurricanes.
It’s essential not to forget about preparing for your pets, they are depending on you to ensure their safety!
As well as preparing your essential supplies, you will also want to take steps to prepare your tech gear. Computers, external hard drives, stereos, etc., will be vulnerable in the event of flooding. Creating digital copies and backing up important data will help you further protect your information in the event that flooding occurs in the home. These seven useful tips can help keep your data, electronics, and your sanity intact during a stressful situation, such as a hurricane.
You will also want to make sure you’ve got the right tools to get your home secured if a hurricane does strike. Tools such as
- Sandbags with sand
- Tool kit
- Mosquito repellent
- Rain gear
- Plastic sheeting
- Duct tape
- Lighter fluid
- Manual can opener
- Fully-charged cell phone
- Strike-anywhere matches
Further, we recently wrote an article about how important a screwdriver is in your hurricane preparations. Because there are multiple types, you want to make sure you have the correct kind such as to assist in boarding up your windows.
As we have stated in previous articles, because of the unpredictability of hurricanes, the aftermath is always difficult to prepare for. Hurricanes have their own personality and some may cause more flooding, more wind damage, or may be mild. There are five likely hurricane aftermatch scenarios to use as a guide to anticipating what may occur once the hurricane has blown through.
Diseases can also pose a problem during the aftermath of disasters due to unsanitary conditions, tainted water supplies, and the increase of insects carrying diseases. Therefore, educating yourself on these dangers is very important.
Ready Nutrition also offers an entire series of articles dedicated to preparedness to help readers get ready for short and longer-term events. The sooner you start the process of preparing for the worst case scenario, the better off you and your family will be. A failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Make sure you’ve got the upper hand this hurricane season!