by Kevin Hagler
Today, June 1st, marks the start of Hurricane season and in spirit of our already extra-fiery severe weather season, forecasters predict an “above-normal” hurricane season.
In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts a total of:
- 12-18 named storms with winds reaching a possible 49+ MPH; with
- 6-10 of those storms becoming a full-on hurricane; including
- 3-6 MAJOR hurricanes (categories 3,4, or 5 with winds of over 111 MPH)
(The seasonal average: 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes)
Remember, Georgia is a coastal state and even as an Atlanta-area resident you’re still at risk for the detriment that a hurricane can bring. In 2005, Hurricane Dennis caused damage as far inland as Albany with significant flood and wind damage in metro-Atlanta areas like Lithia Springs and Decatur respectively.
“This is an ideal time to get a disaster supply kit ready, make an evacuation plan with your family, and get information on what to do during a hurricane,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Red Cross Disaster Services.
So, here it is:
Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan:
Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places–a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Get a good map and be familiar with your community’s evacuation routes. Listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
In case you have to evacuate to a Red Cross shelter be sure to bring medications, extra clothing, pillows and blankets and other hygiene and comfort supplies for all members of your family. Be sure to also make advance preparations for your pets, which aren’t allowed in Red Cross shelters.
Assemble a Family Disaster Supplies Kit:
Have emergency supplies set aside for all members of your household, including emergency medications, non-perishable food, a non-electric can opener, bottled water (at least three gallons per person), a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, extra clothes, important documents, cash and credit cards, a first aid kit and other special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and pets.
Prepare for High Winds:
Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.
Unsurprisingly, The Atlanta Red Cross stresses preparedness in this extraordinary severe weather season.
Make sure to follow these links for more information:
- American Red Cross hurricane preparedness tips.
- Tornadoes and thunderstorms aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Red Cross offers tips on how to stay prepared.
- NOAA main site.
- NOAA hurricane outlook.
- National Weather Service/NOAA National Hurricane Center (stay updated on current cyclone activities)
And, remember to bookmark this blog for more updates and information on preparedness and what exactly the Red Cross is doing in your area and across the nation and globe.