Hurricane season is upon us! The hurricane season typically begins May 15th for the Eastern Pacific, June 1st for the Atlantic and Central Pacific, and runs through the end of November, with September being the most active month. The year 2022 saw an average season, in the Atlantic, with 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science predicts below-average season in 2023. In 2021 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began using the new 30 year period of records from 1991-2020 to predict hurricane averages. With this new data, hurricane prediction averages have increased up to 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes in the Atlantic, the Eastern Pacific with up to 13 named storms and 7 hurricanes, and Central Pacific with up to 4 Tropical Cyclones.
Tropical cyclones, commonly referred to as hurricanes, originate from low-pressure systems that form over subtropical or tropical waters. These intense storms derive their power from warm ocean water. When these weather systems escalate into hurricanes, the winds at the surface start rotating in a continuous circular pattern called closed circulation. Wind speeds must exceed 74 mph for a storm to be classified as a hurricane, although some have been recorded to surpass 180 mph!!!! Since 2015 hurricanes have caused more than 453 deaths in the US alone.
It is easy to say, "I am going to prepare." We all plan to be prepared. Disasters have a way of happening before we are prepared.
So how can you prepare now to stay safe during and after the storm?
Think Ahead- Know the risks to your home. Sign up for wireless community alerts. Stay tuned to local television and radio broadcasts.Have a plan; make sure family members and other relatives know where to meet in case of an evacuation. Have an emergency kit readily accessible. Your kit should include first aid supplies, pet supplies, as well as any important personal documents. Attend first aid and C.E.R.T. training so you are prepared to help in case of an emergency.
Stay Safe During- Evacuate immediately if advised to do so and make sure to take your emergency kit with you. Stay away from windows, and take shelter in an interior room on the lowest level. Be cautious of flooding (do not attempt to cross moving water) and move to higher ground if necessary.
Hurricanes can be scary but by taking precautions early and thinking ahead, you will be ready to act fast, survive the storm, and stay safe afterward.
The victims of disasters share two commonalities - the instinct for self-preservation and the sudden realization of their situation. Feelings of panic, fear, and hopelessness are common among most individuals during such situations. It is important to remember that disasters occur without any prior planning.
So, what can you do to ensure your survival? Preparedness and regular practice are crucial in surviving an unexpected emergency. Not only do they equip you with the necessary skills to overcome the situation, but they also have a positive effect on your mental state, helping you to manage the initial panic, fear, and distress that can arise during such emergencies.