Prepare for the 2016 Hurricane Season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts 2016 to be an active hurricane season according to data from the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Hurricane season is six month long and begins in June. Gulf Coast and Atlantic states are usually the most affected by hurricanes.
The predictions for hurricane seasons are based on three factors according to the NOAA¹:
- Water temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean
- El Niño or La Nina weather formations
- Patterns of atmospheric patterns like strong African monsoon that have been responsible for high hurricane activity in the past
HOW TO PREPARE FOR HURRICANE SEASON
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures²:
- To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Know your surroundings.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
- Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Make plans to secure your property:
- Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
- Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Determine how and where to secure your boat.
- Install a generator for emergencies.
- If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.
- Consider building a safe room.
²Ready.gov is an excellent and sited source for emergency preparedness.