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How to Prepare for a Hurricane: What You Can Expect in 2016

on May 31, 2016 11:04 AM

Hurricane evacuation route

The unexpected.

At least that’s what you should be preparing for when the official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and continues through November 30.

As advanced as technology has become, you’ve probably noticed that even a 24-hour forecast can fail from time to time. Naturally, you can imagine that predicting hurricanes for the next six months is no small feat.

Regardless of forecast accuracy, knowing how to prepare for a hurricane that brings its worst will leave you much better off, even if major storms never occur.

In this post we take a look at four common questions that precede hurricane season and share expert advice to help you stay safe.

How many hurricanes will there be in 2016?

Well, there will be one for sure, because believe it or not, it already happened.

Hurricane Alex became the first hurricane to form in January in 78 years when it did so on January 14. However, it weakened to a post-tropical cyclone the next day as it affected Bermuda and moved north.

The National Oceanic and Atmosphereic Administration's (NOAA) Climate Predition Center released its seasonal forecast on May 27. The verdict: a 45% chance of a near-normal season, which could produce 10-16 named storms, four to eights hurricanes, and one to four major hurricanes.

Unfortunately, the past few seasons have been below normal and there's still uncertainty surrounding La Niña weather patterns, which could make this year even more active.

NOAA predictions

*Illustration credit: National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration

Other than the National Weather Service, one of the most widely respected long-term hurricane season forecasts is made by Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, who predicts 13 named storms and six hurricanes – two of which will be major storms.

Meteorologists at The Weather Company take a slightly more pessimistic view of the 2016 season, as they believe there will be 14 named storms, eight hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

Although these predictions are considered "near average," remember that it only takes one hurricane and a lack of preparedness to cause plenty of damage.

Where will the hurricanes make landfall?

That’s a million dollar question now and will be even when storms develop and get named. Predicting the path of a hurricane and how strong it will become might only be useful a day or two before it strikes, which could mean the difference from total devastation to just heavy rain.

Still, heavy rain could cause significant damage to your business if you’re building is at risk of suffering water damage.

When will the most active part of the season be?

Hurricane Alex was quite the anomaly. Even May and November storms are relatively uncommon.

Since hurricanes need warm water at deep depths to sustain themselves, there’s a better chance of them happening after the summer months warm the water.

That’s why August, September, and October encompass 96% of all major hurricane days and even 78% of all tropical storm occurrences. The absolute peak of hurricane activity is generally seen in the middle of September.

Hurricane season statistics

*Illustration credit: National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration

What can I do to prepare?

As Dr. Klotzbach mentions in the closing of the abstract of his research, “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.”*

Don’t wait until watches and warnings are posted – by that time it will be much too late to adequately protect your business from the storm itself and recovering from it afterwards.

Get started today by downloading our Hurricane Preparedness Guide and stay prepared all season long!

 

*Klotzbach, P. J. (2016, April 14). EXTENDED RANGE FORECAST OF ATLANTIC SEASONAL HURRICANE ACTIVITY AND LANDFALL STRIKE PROBABILITY FOR 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://hurricane.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2016/apr2016/apr2016.pdf

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