Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. During this time, there’s a heightened likelihood that the combination of warm ocean water near the equator and westward winds from Africa will create hurricanes.
With wind speeds exceeding 74 mph, and sometimes surpassing 157 mph, these are the Earth’s most violent storms (scijinks.gov). Besides wind, they bring rising sea waters, or storm surges, which can devastate coastlines. Luckily, with the right information, supplies, and strategy, you can minimize the negative effects of these storms.
Geographical awareness and home preparation are important before and during hurricane season. Local governments provide information about evacuation plans and evacuation areas, or places particularly susceptible to damage during hurricanes. The American Red Cross also has a helpful hurricane safety checklist.
Home & Supplies
As shortages of essential supplies are common before, during, and after storms, it’s important to stock up in advance. Essentials include water, flashlights, batteries, food, blankets, radios (for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration radio broadcasts, also available in the Apple Store and Google Play), and hurricane shutters. AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski says, “Any possible compromises to the roof or house will become an open avenue for strong and gusty winds” (Lewis). Unsecured windows or roofing can provide an entry point for wind, leading to significant damage.
As evidenced by Hurricane Katrina and many other disasters, it’s crucial to prepare for the aftermath of a storm. Flooding, downed power lines, contaminated water, and structural damage to homes all present different dangers. Continued attention to local and national news, caution around flooded areas, consumption of bottled water, and careful examination of your home before reentrance are all safe strategies.
Furthermore, an investment in a backup generator will help during extended electricity outages. A good first step is to determine what appliances you will need and, therefore, the necessary generator wattage. Education about safe handling of generators is also advisable, as they’re meant for use in dry, well-ventilated areas (more safety info here).
Click the link below to check out our suggested gas-powered generator, the Westinghouse WGen 7500 Portable Generator!
In the 2019 hurricane season, NOAA anticipates up to 17 named storms, with up to four of those becoming major with winds exceeding 111 miles per hour (Schwartz). Rather than willfully ignoring the threat of these storms or despairing, emergency plans, supplies, and strategies can mitigate the negative potential of hurricanes. With the right preparation, you can enjoy summertime and early fall without the stress of the unknown.