Despite Slow Start, Forecasters Double Down On Hurricane Season Predictions
We're getting into the second week of August and without any significant tropical activity in the Atlantic forecasters are warning not to let your guard down. A new analysis of El Nino and how it is affecting weather patterns still points to a busy and above-average hurricane season according to forecasters.
The downright hot conditions in the Atlantic are a big reason that chances doubled that we will see major storm activity this year. Back in May, NOAA predicted a near-normal hurricane season even as many places in the United States saw record temperatures. The record-breaking temperatures could fuel stronger and more frequent storms as we near peak season.
Statistically the busiest months of hurricane season are September and October. You may remember 2005 when we reached the letters K (Katrina) and R (Rita) at the end of August into early September. That year was particularly busy.
Matthew Rosencrans, the lead hurricane season forecaster at NOAA, said, “We have increased the chance for above normal activity to 60% from 30%... The chances of a below-normal season are now at only 15%.”
When and where the next big storm develops is anyone's guest. But Acadiana's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico means that we always need to stay prepared. Now is the time to stock up on this like water and batteries in the event of tropical conditions.
Here are some things that experts suggest you have in your emergency supplies:
- Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days.
- Non-perishable Food: A three-day supply of ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items like canned goods, granola bars, dried fruits, and nuts.
- Manual Can Opener: To open canned food.
- Medications: A week's supply of prescription medications and any necessary medical supplies.
- First Aid Kit: Including bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, and adhesive tape.
- Personal Hygiene Items: Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, and moist towelettes.
- Flashlights: Preferably hand-crank or battery-powered, with extra batteries.
- Battery-Powered or Hand-Crank Radio: To receive emergency alerts and information.
- Cell Phone Charger: Portable charger or solar charger for your phone.
- Multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife: Useful for various tasks.
- Blankets or Sleeping Bags: To stay warm if power is lost.
- Clothing: Extra clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes.
- Cash: In case ATMs are inaccessible due to power outages.
- Important Documents: Copies of identification, insurance policies, medical records, and contact information.
- Whistle: To signal for help if needed.
- Duct Tape: Versatile for temporary repairs.
- Local Maps: In case GPS is unavailable.
- Hygiene and Sanitation Supplies: Plastic bags, disinfectant, and personal hygiene items.
- Baby Supplies: If applicable, include diapers, formula, baby food, and baby clothing.
- Pet Supplies: If you have pets, include pet food, water, leash, carrier, and any necessary medications.
Remember to consider the specific needs of your family, including any medical conditions or special dietary requirements, when assembling your emergency kit. Keep the kit in a readily accessible location and make sure all family members know where it is located. Regularly check and update the supplies to ensure everything is in good condition and hasn't expired.