This Week is Hurricane Preparedness Week… Forecasters Predict a Rough 2018 Season

The thought of the 2018 hurricane season being more active than usual is a scary one. Especially after the hurricane season Americans went through in 2017.

But that’s what some Meteorology officials are forecasting.

They predict Americans might have to deal with 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes in 2018. (A “major” hurricane is a Category 3 or higher.)

That compares with the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

2017 Hurricane Season Was Vicious

In the late summer and early fall of 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined to cost hundreds of lives. And nearly $280 billion in property damage.

Irma and Maria accounted for 2 of the top 5 biggest blackouts in U.S. history, according to a Rhodium group report.

More than seven months after Maria hit Puerto Rico, over 50,000 people there still do not have electricity. And the next hurricane season is already about to start.

The Key Is Preparation

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 6-12. The official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November. But hurricanes can occur as early as April or May.

It’s possible that none of the Atlantic Ocean hurricanes that develop in 2018 will hit the U.S. or that all of them will. Only time will tell.

Even if a tropical storm does not reach hurricane status, it can still cause damage when it makes landfall. It’s not just a coastal problem. A storm’s effects can be felt hundreds of miles inland. And that includes power outages.

That’s why it’s crucial to prepare if you live in an area of the country that could be affected by a hurricane or other extreme weather event.

Extreme Weather Takes Its Toll

One advantage to dealing with a hurricane rather than a tornado is that you have more advance notice to prepare for it. That’s thanks to meteorological advancements.

But hurricanes can be very slow moving and bring excessive amounts of water with them.

They can cause extensive flooding. They are often accompanied by thunderstorms and tornadoes. Plus sustained rains and winds.

Hurricanes can knock out power for days and cut off water supplies.

Prepare Your Home

Having an emergency response plan in place is crucial if you live in an area susceptible to these vicious storms.

Have a 72-hour survival kit and your bug-out bag ready to go, and know your evacuation routes.

You should be ready to start executing at a moment’s notice when you hear a hurricane is heading your way is preparing your home. This involves:

  • Boarding up windows with plywood or installing storm shutters
  • Securing your roof and siding to your house frame with straps
  • Reinforcing garage doors, trimming long tree branches and bringing outdoor furniture into your house
  • Familiarizing yourself and your family with utility shut-off switches and valves in your house in case you need to evacuate

Be Ready to Bug Out

Even if you’re planning to hunker down during a hurricane, the intensity of the storm may change your plans. You need to prepare to bug out if necessary.

Other activities you should engage in prior to a hurricane approaching your area are:

  • Familiarize yourself with emergency routes and shelters. Print out those routes and keep them in your vehicle’s glove compartment.
  • Make yourself aware of community shelters in your neighborhood in case you need to use one.
  • Make sure your car has a full gas tank and that important items such as a first-aid kit are in your car.

More To-Do’s for Your List

Assuming there is no evacuation order and you decide to ride the storm out, monitor emergency radio and mainstream media reports.

Close your blinds and move your most valuable possessions away from windows. Then stay away from those windows. Close interior doors and remain in your home’s interior rooms.

Once the storm passes, continue to monitor weather reports. Try to use flashlights instead of candles if your power is out. If you’re returning after evacuating, keep an eye out for flooding. Plus ruptured gas lines and damaged structures.

Be aware that water may have become contaminated. Report any damage sustained by your home as soon as possible.

Be Prepared for Your Power to Go Out

If a hurricane or other major storm is about to strike near where you live, there’s a very good chance that your power will go out.

It could be for only a couple of days, or you could be without electricity for weeks.

An obvious choice to help with power outages is to have a generator on hand.

But if that generator runs on gas, there could be a bigger problem than not having power.

The New York Post reported that 3 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from using a generator after the power outages caused by Hurricane Irma. And dozens more were injured.

We recommend using a solar generator instead.

You can use it to run kitchen appliances. Charge your personal or medical devices. Or light up a room with an LED light string… for weeks at a time.

There is no worry about running it inside your house because it does not produce fumes like a gas generator.

And it recharges using only the power of the sun, so you don’t have to worry about gas shortages either.

See this personal solar power system in action
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