By now you’ve probably heard Tropical Storm Isaac is churning in the Caribbean and may strengthen into a hurricane that could impact Florida and other Gulf coast states in the coming days.
Although 2012 has been a fairly quiet hurricane season so far, the Atlantic basin has seen 9 named storms, including 3 hurricanes, and the Pacific basin has seen 5 storms, 4 of which became hurricanes.
Keep in mind the storm season officially starts June 1 and runs through November 30, but August and September historically have been the peak activity months. For example, in 2010 and 2011, 12 named storms occurred in August and September both years. And it doesn’t take a hurricane to create havoc since tropical storms and depressions can bring torrential rains, tornadoes and flooding to coastlines and hundreds of miles inland.
Did you know…
…according to IBHS, more than half of the nation’s population now lives within 50 miles of the coast and the majority of properties there are exposed to the threat of hurricanes?!
…the 2005 U.S. season broke records with 27 named storms (previous record was 21 in 1933) and 15 hurricanes (previous record was 12 in 1969)?! The National Hurricane Center states this cycle could last 10-20 more years similar to the above-average activity from the 1940s through the 1960s.
…Hurricane Irene was the lone hurricane to hit the United States in 2011, and the first one to do so since Ike struck southeast Texas in 2008?!
…9 out of 10 hurricane deaths are due to storm surge (a rise in the sea level caused by strong winds). Storm surges can get up to 20 feet high and 50 to 100 miles wide!
Some things to think about and do to prepare for the storms…
- Have a plan, map out several evacuation routes, and make disaster supplies kits for your home and vehicles. (And consider making kits for your office too.) And get some Weather radios with battery backup and tone-alert feature.
- Make arrangements for pets since shelters may not allow them. If you have horses or livestock, make a plan for an alternate site in case they must be evacuated.
- Videotape or take pictures of home and personal belongings and store chips/cards/drives with important papers in a secure, safe place offsite.
- Consider getting flood insurance (and keep in mind it may take 30+ days to take effect). Learn more at www.floodsmart.gov
- Strengthen weak spots on home — Roof: Install truss bracing or gable end bracing; anchors, clips and straps, etc. Windows & Doors: Get storm shutters or keep plywood on hand; install reinforced bolt kitsor doors, etc. Garage doors: Some retrofit kits install horizontal bracing onto each panel.
- Secure or tie down loose stuff like patio furniture, barbeque grills, water heaters, garbage cans, bookcases and shelving, etc. Loose items can become like missiles during high winds or tornadoes.
- Keep materials on hand like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves. Call your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home.
- Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves — ask local utilities for instructions.
- Listen to local authorities for warnings, evacuation tips and instructions, etc.
Download some FREE topics from our IT’S A DISASTER! book about Evacuations, Flooding, Hurricanes and more … and please share the information with others.
Ready.gov Hurricanes page
Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Hurricane page