When hurricane season comes early, is preparedness still late?
Hurricane Season 2012 got an early start with two named storms before the official season kickoff date of June 1. Isn’t it just like the weather to ignore a schedule? The last time the U.S. experienced two preseason storms was during the 1908 hurricane season. So, what does it all mean? Nothing. But it is not okay to be nonchalant about preparedness.
News reports on Tropical Storm Beryl from Jacksonville quote emergency management officials acknowledging that the storm could have been worse and provided “good practice” for more intense storms. So, how is your storm practice going? Hey, it’s been six years since Florida got hit by hurricanes, so surely you’ve used that time to put up some type of defense, right? If half a dozen years of calm were insufficient time to launch a preparedness action plan, maybe this week will bring motivation. It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 27 – June 2).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts a near-normal hurricane season with a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms this year. Of those storms, NOAA forecasters expect four to eight to become hurricanes, including one to three major hurricanes. “Near-normal” means less active compared to recent years, yet since tropical storms don’t adhere to the calendar (as they’ve proven so far this year), they also pay no mind to what NOAA says. Hurricane Andrew was the first named storm of 1992, which was otherwise an inactive season.
Hurricane Preparedness Week is about making ours a Weather-Ready Nation. There are public resources to help you prepare, including making sure your home is protected with insurance. You should also consider reducing hurricane-related property damage starting at the top – with a strong roof. A roof inspection by a licensed contractor can uncover deficiencies in the roof, which was an education in mitigation for me. Find out more about roofing the right way from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
And, please don’t simply watch the weather. Be ready to deal with it.