Saturday, May 31, 2014

Are you Ready? Hurricane Season 2014

Hurricane Season starts June 1st and since we are just one day away you may have questions 
especially if you had witnessed and or had damage from Lee, Irene and Sandy, etc.   

What do the experts say about this season?  How many Hurricanes are being predicted for this year? 
I keep hearing about "El Niño", is that going to affect us and how? I learned last year that a storm does not have to be "Hurricane Force" to be dangerous. I don't live near the Ocean, therefore I have nothing to worry about.    What can I do to be prepared?

One of my early sources of weather information is Weather Underground ( and even though I normally refer to NOAA/NW/NHC, I like the way the blogs are written on this website.
Here is a basic summary from Dr. Jeff Master who regularly writes for

"All of the major seasonal hurricane forecasts are calling for a below-average to near-average season, with 9 - 12 named storms, 3 - 6 hurricanes, and 1 - 2 major hurricanes. 

How will the steering current pattern evolve? El Niño years tend to feature more storms that recurve out to sea and miss land; will this be the case in 2014?"

When I took my Meteorology Class last year, my professor stated that weather forecasts are not reliable beyond 5 or 6 days because of the mathematical computer models being used. . This to me makes sense however do not forget that Hurricane Sandy was predicted in advance.  The sad thing is that many people do not pay attention to the forecasts made by the experts. (for example the National Hurricane Center)

Just because a forecast is not perfect does not mean we should ignore it and have our guard down.
Try to watch your local news on a regular basis.  If you are not able to watch TV, read a newspaper or have a list of websites that you can check on a regular basis.  

Be prepared - Do not wait for the last minute. There were many stories of people in NJ and NY that could not find gasoline not just for their car, they needed it for their generator since many folks were without power for an extended period of time just after Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast. 

This is what President Obama said during Hurricane Sandy;
“In times like this, one of the things that Americans do is we pull together and we help out one another. And so, there may be elderly populations in your area. Check on your neighbor, check on your friend. Make sure that they are prepared. If we do, then we’re going to get through this storm just fine. But we’re going to have to make sure that we are vigilant for a couple of days.” 

FEMA started a volunteer group to pass on much needed educational material for being prepared.  Here is some information that may help you.

Real Solutions
Where do you stand when it comes to preparedness? Research shows that people are more prepared for
 a disaster if they:

  • Are aware of community alerts and warning systems;
  • Talk about their preparedness plan with family and others;
  • Attend trainings and meetings; and
  • Participate in a drill or exercise.

Increase Your Family ’s Protection
Based on the 2012 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Survey, 54 percent of the
U.S. population does not believe their community will experience a natural disaster. Only 39 percent have
a plan they have discussed with their family members, and almost 50 percent do not have supplies set
aside in their home for use in a disaster. Unfortunately, a disaster will likely impact you at some point in
your life and when it does, you may only have seconds to respond. Your family, friends and community
are depending on you if a disaster happens. Are you ready to act?

Home Depot has Free workshops (one was today) Not happy about being in the dark during a storm?
Here is my story from last year on how Home Depot can help you be prepared with equipment and supplies
Home Depot Hurricane Workshop - How to be prepared

Do you, friends or your family think because you do not live near the Ocean that you are safe from a Hurricane.  You are absolutely wrong !  
Here is a great Hurricane Preparedness guide by FEMA (please ready this!)

Here is a good source for Hurricane Forecast Information:  wunderground hurricanes

The National Hurricane Center:
(The official Source)