The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which officially began on June 1 and is slated to end on November 30, will likely feature below-average activity. As Weather.com reports, an outlook released last week by Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project team states that this season will include 10 named storms, four hurricanes and one major hurricane, which is below the long-term average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Thus far, we’ve heard about Hurricane Arthur, Tropical Depression Two and newly-formed Hurricane Bertha.
Preparation for these events is crucial. As Ready.gov points out, hurricanes are capable of inflicting catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. They can produce winds faster than 155 mph, in addition to tornadoes, microbursts, storm surges and heavy rainfall, which can cause a landslide. Flash flooding and flying debris may also come about as a result of a hurricane.
There are several steps you can take to prepare before a hurricane. A comprehensive rundown of preparedness tips from Ready.gov can be seen below.
Preparing for Hurricane Season 2014
* To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
* Know your surroundings.
* Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
* Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard to you.
* Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
* Make plans to secure your property.
* Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
* Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
* Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
* Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
* Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
* Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
* Determine how and where to secure your boat.
* Install a generator for emergencies.
* If in a high-rise building, when high winds are present, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor because wind conditions increase with height, and in a small interior room without windows. When flooding may be occuring, be prepared to take shelter on a floor safely above the flooding and wave effects.
* Consider building a safe room.
Read more: http://www.ready.gov
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