The expected Hurricane Hot Spots for July are in the Gulf of Mexico and the south-eastern Caribbean. It is important to be be prepared. Scroll down to see tips on how to prepare for a Hurricane.
2017 Hurricane Season Forecast Worsens
Update from NOAA – the 2017 Hurricane season forecast worsens with a 70% chance of 11 – 17 named storms, of which 5 to 9 are expected to become hurricanes, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes. This is an increase from the NOAA’s earlier forecast which called for 12 named storms, of which 6 were expected to become named storms, including 2 major hurricanes.
“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. NOAA urges coastal residents to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place and to monitor the latest forecasts.
While a difference of one predicted major hurricane may not seem significant, as Hurricane Sandy proved, one major storm can take a catastrophic toll on life and property. The storm damaged or destroyed at least 650,000 houses and left approximately 8.5 million customers without power during the storm and its wake.
Hurricane Season 2017 Forecast
A total of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes are expected this season, which matches the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the Atlantic basin. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Hurricane season officially starts on June 1st.
Hurricane Names 2017
Here are the Atlantic Hurricane Names for 2017.
Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney
Browse this blog for information and links that will help you prepare for the next storm.
How to prepare for a Hurricane or Tropical Storm
Before the Storm: What Can You Do To Protect Your Home?
Cover The Windows
If you live in an area vulnerable to hurricanes, consider installing storm shutters. They are available in several different types, and they will go a long way toward keeping the damaging wind and rain from entering through your home’s windows. As a side benefit, they may reduce your homeowner’s insurance premium.
Secure The Doors
Steel entry doors provide the best protection for your home. Double doors and French doors are most vulnerable to high winds. No matter what type of door you have, a hurricane panel is your best option to keep damage at a minimum. These galvanized steel or PVC panels are available at your local hardware store. You can also nail plywood over your doors to help keep out water and debris. Do not nail yourself inside the house, in case you need to evacuate the area on short notice.
If you have double doors that have no structural member in the center between them, you should purchase and install special hardware to secure the doors where they meet. Bolts that secure the door into the framing at both the top and bottom greatly increase the door’s strength. Wedge a dowel or a piece of broom handle into the track of sliding glass doors to prevent them from coming loose when the wind howls.
Provide stiffening support for garage doors. The pressure from wind increases with the door’s size, and wide doors in particular need bracing for stability during high winds. Make your own vertical supports by nailing two 2x4s together and attaching them to the inside of your garage door with “L” brackets.
Keep the Yards Clear of Flying Debris
Flying tree limbs pose a great danger during high winds. Trim trees to avoid the possibility of large limbs doing damage to your house. In addition, selectively thinning out the branches to allow wind to pass through will reduce the potential for damage to the tree itself. Dead or damaged branches should be removed before they become flying missiles aimed straight for your house.
Develop a Family Hurricane Plan
Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Secure your home (doors and windows).
- Locate a SAFE ROOM or the SAFE AREAS in the home for each hurricane hazard.
- Determine safe escape routes and meeting places prior to the storm
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make arrangements prior to the storm for pets in case of mandatory evacuation.
- Gather all non-emergency phone numbers and discuss the proper use of 911 with all children.
- 7. Prepare a Family First Aid Kit and put it in the SAFE ROOM.
- 8. Have a battery-operated radio for weather and safety updates.
Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit:
- Water (1 gallon per person for 3 to 7 days)
- Food (3 to 7 day supply for each person)
- non-perishable packaged or canned food/juices
- foods for infants or elderly individuals
- snack foods
- non-electric can opener
- cooking tools/fuel
- paper plates/plastic utensils
- Blankets/Pillows, etc.
- First Aid Kit/Medicines/Prescription Drugs
- Special Items
- Toiletries/Hygiene items/Moisture wipes
- Radio (battery operated)
- Toys/Books/Games for children
- Important documents – waterproof container:
- birth certificates
- insurance documents
- medical records
- bank account information
- Vehicle fuel tanks filled
- Pet care items (If not going to shelter)
Despite the best attempts at protecting your home, damage may still occur. Take a look at your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately covered. Keep lists, pictures and video of your belongings as documentation for the insurance company.
- Link to NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov/weather
- Link to Generac’s Hurricane Preparedness’ Guide: http://www.generac.com/stormprep
- Link to Generac’s Maintain Your Generator: http://gens.lccdn.com/GeneracCorporate/media/Library/content/service-support/pdfs/Generac-Generators_Home-Backup_Maintenance-Tips.pdf
Why a Standby Generator, helpful video
With storms Ana and Bill already crossed of this seasons list and the peak season on the way, now is the time to consider backup power solutions.
Hurricane Tips for Horse Owners
Horses should be kept on the owner’s or caretaker’s property, if possible. If you plan to evacuate your animal out of the area, go early.
- In a Category 1 storm, animals may be safe in a sturdy barn. In a Category 2 storm or higher, animals are probably safest in a large pasture with room to move around,allowing them to utilize their best instincts if there are no electrical wires to come down and the fences are in good repair.
- Do NOT tranquilize your horse!
- Make sure your animal is well identified by spray painting your phone number on your horse’s body; attach a fetlock band or mare band with your name address and phone numbers in permanent ink; braid a luggage tag into your horses mane or tail close to the body (be sure its water proofed).
- Be sure to have photos of you with your animals, showing any unique markings, to prove ownership.
- Be sure that your horse is wearing a leather halter which will make it easier for someone to catch your horse if it gets loose.
- Plan for water (20 gallons per animal per day) and feed and hay for your horse.
- Have on hand a supply of basic first aid items, i.e., bandages, anesthetics, etc.
- Do not stay with your horse! You cannot help a frightened, thousand pound animal, and you may get hurt.
IF UNDER A FLOOD WATCH, the following reminders are also important:
- Move your large animals to high ground.
- Cleanse feet and hooves with iodine. Once the iodine dries, the feet and hooves should be covered with Vaseline or petroleum jelly for protection from standing water and infection.
- Feed and hay should be moved above ground three feet to avoid water damage and mold.
IN BROWARD COUNTY, caretakers and/or horse owners should contact the Broward County Hurricane Hotline at 3-1-1 or 954-831-4000 if the horse is in standing water up to their knees post-storm.
Strong storms often cause power outages
It doesn’t take a hurricane to knock out power! Strong storms cause power outages in Florida all year long. You should always be prepared. To report and track local power outages in south Florida visit http://www.fplmaps.com/
PREPARING A HURRICANE SURVIVAL KIT
Being prepared before an emergency happens can make a big difference in how you and your family weather the storm.
Items for preparing a hurricane survival kit include:
- Water – 3 gallons per day per person
- Battery Operated Radio
- Candles and matches or lighter
- Duct Tape
- Emergency cooking supplies
- Charcoal or Propane for grill
- Large cooler to store items in refrigerator
- Ice to fill large cooler
- Insect repellent
- Extra batteries
- Extension cords – long, heavy duty
- Rain Gear and sturdy shoes
- Pet food
- Pet care items
- Extra medications for both family members and pets
- Fire extinguisher
- First Aid kit
- Toys, books, games
- Flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs
- Manual can opener
- Ready to eat canned and prepared food
- Valuable papers
- Water-tight storage bags and/or boxes
- Valid drivers’ license
Top Generator Reviews from Consumer Reports
ConsumerReports.org has posted its “Top Generator Reviews”. Let the leading consumer advocate help you choose your next emergency power system.