2019 Could Be Another Brutal Season As We Enter Hurricane Preparedness Week

The past two years have seen several cataclysmic hurricanes in the U.S. They’ve caused incredible amounts of damage and loss of life.
That means we’re due for a lighter year, right?

I’m afraid not. A North Carolina State University professor is saying there is a possibility of “two or three storms becoming major hurricanes” in 2019.

Other weather predictors including AccuWeather are on board with the prediction. They estimate there will be 13 to 16 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin.

While this number may be considered “normal,” there are frequently more hurricanes in a season than are forecasted. And as we’ve seen, some of them are devastating.

32 Named Storms in Last 2 Years

The hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30. This coming week (May 5-11) is designated as Hurricane Preparedness Week.

Being prepared for a hurricane and practicing what to do when disaster hits with your family can make a huge difference in how you’re able to cope. It might even save your life.

Over the past two hurricane seasons, we’ve seen 32 named storms. Seventeen in 2017 and 15 in 2018. That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma pounded us into submission in 2017. Last year the culprits were Florence and Michael.
But as many of us know, “it only takes one.” That’s what AccuWeather forecaster Dan Kottlowski says. He predicts there will be five to seven hurricanes in the Atlantic region this year. And that two to four of them will become “major.”

The Key is Preparation

Kottlowski says it’s impossible to anticipate exactly what will happen since hurricanes can be unpredictable.
“Now is the time to start planning,” he said. “Of those people who were impacted by Florence and Michael last year, the ones who did not have plans in place had the most difficulty.”

Like shown by Harvey, slow-moving hurricanes create the most damage. They bring excessive amounts of water with them. They can create extensive flooding. And are often accompanied by thunderstorms and tornadoes. Plus sustained rains and winds.

But with almost every hurricane, people lose power. They are also often cut off from food supplies, as well as water supplies too.
Having an emergency response plan in place is crucial if you live in an area susceptible to these vicious storms.

Home Preparation

People usually have several days’ advance notice when a hurricane is approaching.

By then, you should have a 72-hour survival kit and your bug-out bag ready to go, and know your evacuation routes.

You should also be ready to start executing at a moment’s notice when you hear a hurricane is heading your way by 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 Just in Case

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 routes and keep them in your vehicle.
  • Find 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.

Be Prepared for Your Power to Go Out

But assuming there is no mandatory evacuation and you decide to ride the storm out instead, make sure you continue to monitor emergency radio and mainstream media reports.

And know that there’s a very good chance 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.

CNN reported that 2 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning from using a generator after the power outages from Hurricane Florence.

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 (video)

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