Today, I have a number of detailed thoughts and concerns about my thoughts for the next Atlantic hurricane season and the first six months of this year’s (2018) season. (I focus on several major hurricane categories and focus on potential preparations for each class of hurricane.) The key is to start thinking about the future soon, since the inevitable question I’ll get all of these days is, “when’s your new book coming out?”. Here’s a brief summary:
1. Taking the first step is checking to see if your home insurance policy covers wind damage above what we once called Hurricane Andrew. In this new era of “catastrophic” weather, and where wind speed and other physical characteristics for named tropical systems have significantly increased, many policies no longer cover hurricane wind damage. My advice to most hurricane-prone people is to renew your homeowner’s policy early, before the hurricane season starts, and get the same “hurricane reinsurance” you purchased for 2011 (as opposed to asking for the pricier and more hurricane prone 2013-15 version or future-expired 2015-17+ re-insurance policy).
2. If your building is in an evacuation zone, you need to get a designated kits now. Part of each has to be very specific and is put together by a FEMA-approved agent. Not having a preparedness kit is like my not having a hurricane kit. Many citizens who have been living in a certain area for many years may not realize their home or apartment is in an evacuation zone. However, as you move through a new area you may need to re-assess that designation. If so, plan ahead to keep a checklist of all parts of your emergency plan (not just for a hurricane but for other major natural disasters).
3. Even if you don’t use your home as your primary or secondary place of residence, you need to prepare your medical and important documents and get them to an evacuation/disaster center in your area ASAP. The chances of being told in the early morning hours that you need to leave a home due to the threat of evacuation are very good. Go online today and pull up some generators (E39 battery-operated) and some extra batteries (I take a 13 watt battery from my cell phone when I’m on the road). Check them with your supplier and make sure they are working. You need to have a gallon of water per person, per day.
4. As much as I hate shopping, I have to try to address the topic of “chicken and crab” dinners for our family. There are various websites and blogs that “expert” people list as sources to help you prepare for the coming hurricane season. I sometimes read their articles but then don’t buy any of their items and I’m back to thinking how much I don’t want a hurricane coming and then how much I don’t want to lose everything I own in a hurricane. However, I’m out of shrimp and I’m out of chowder, so I’m hoping that someone might be able to give me a recipe or two for both dishes.
5. Last week, every hurricane fan (particularly those who don’t know much about Atlantic and Pacific hurricane seasons) is always looking for knowledge about how a given storm is going to evolve. I’m out of this thinking, and here’s the big surprise: the five-day forecast or the one week forecasts from forecasters over the next ten days (or maybe even the month) are in fact based on many factors, not just on the new forecast systems they use. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if some models come out with their own hurricane seasonal forecasts next week that don’t rely on the various hurricane forecasters.
6. The traditional post-hurricane supply kit includes batteries, duct tape, flashlights, batteries, cordless drills and snow shovels. I often find myself adding some bottled water and a can opener, and sometimes food if the pre-storm supply kit is already empty. Keep in mind that these supplies can be used for hurricane-related needs but not necessarily for other types of weather emergencies.
7. Finally, take a moment, look out your window, look at your neighbors, feel the power moving through the area as hurricanes approach the coastline, hold your breath, and remain calm. You may need to worry about this, but you will be well prepared for it. I hope to provide more information for you in coming weeks and months.