May 5 through 11, 2019 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The 2018 hurricane season was the third consecutive above-average hurricane season. There was over $50 billion in damaged caused by 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. Now is the time to review these hurricane safety tips and make plans for the upcoming season.
Predictions for the 2019 Hurricane Season
In the Atlantic region, hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. The peak of hurricane activity typically runs from mid-August to late October. In the Eastern Pacific region, hurricane season is May 15 through November 30. The average hurricane season produces 12 named storms. 6 total storms become hurricanes, with 3 of them becoming major hurricanes.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a near-normal hurricane season in 2019. This is due in part to warmer than average temperatures. They are predicting 9 to 15 named storms, 4 to 8 of which could become hurricanes. At this time, they expect 2 to 4 of those storms could become major hurricanes. NOAA is 70% confident in their prediction.
Hurricane Watch Versus Hurricane Warning
While the terms watch and warning can be confusing, knowing the difference is critical to staying safe during the storm season.
Watch – It is possible that a hurricane may impact the identified areas within the next 48 hours. If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane watch for your area, check your emergency disaster supply kit, review evacuation routes and emergency preparedness plan, and listen to local officials.
Warning – A hurricane is expected to impact the identified areas within the next 36 hours. If the National Hurricane Center issues a hurricane warning, comply with evacuation orders from local officials and inform friends and family of your evacuation plans.
Planning in Advance for a Hurricane
The best time to plan for a hurricane is before the season even starts. You can complete these hurricane safety tips before there is any risk of storms.
General Hurricane Safety Tips
The National Weather Service recommends the following actions when a tropical storm or hurricane threatens:
What to do After a Hurricane
Even though the storm may have passed, your area could still be at risk.
What to do When Returning Home
Follow these post-hurricane safety tips to make your return home as safe as possible.