How you can prepare for hurricane season
SALISBURY, Md. – June first means summer is right around the corner, but it’s also the start of Hurricane season, and that means it’s time to prepare.
“The best time to prepare for a hurricane or a tropical system is now, when it’s quiet weather outside,” 47 ABC Meteorologist Sloane Haines said.
But to understand what that means, let’s talk about what an actual hurricane is.
“The best way to think about a hurricane is that it’s a low pressure system, a closed low pressure system, they’re also called tropical cyclones, they form over tropical and sub-tropical waters,” Sloane explained.
While many think of a hurricane as just one storm, it can wreak havoc in so many other ways.
“It’s bringing us that rain but there’s a bunch of other hazards with it as well, flooding, it can bring us heavy rainfall at times, severe thunderstorms that can cause tornadoes or even water spouts,” Sloane said.
We saw that in August of last year when Hurricane Isaias brought a slew of tornadoes to Delmarva, bringing down power lines, trees, and flooding waterways across several towns. But some impacts of these storms can’t even be seen, like rip currents.
“Even if a storm is 500 miles off the coast, the rip current risk can still be high from the system,” Sloane said.
That means if there’s a storm hundreds of miles off the coast and it’s a sunny day in Ocean City, you could still face dangerous rip currents if you’re swimming in the ocean. But how can you prepare for this hurricane season so you aren’t caught off guard?
“You need an emergency preparedness kit, a three day kit. Basically, that consists of water for everybody in your family, food for three days, and don’t forget your pets, you should have medications if you need those,” David Shipley, the Director of Emergency Services for Wicomico County, said.
So let’s talk about what we can actually expect to see this Hurricane season and how prepared you need to be.
“For this upcoming 2021 hurricane season, NOAA and Colorado State University, both put out their hurricane forecast for the season, both forecasting an above average hurricane season, not as active as last year, we had thirty named storms last year, that was an anomaly,” Sloane explained.
But determining where those storms will land, how powerful they’ll be, or what impacts the Delmarva peninsula will feel is hard to determine. That’s why officials say it’s important you prepare now and get ready.
“There’s no predictive model that says it’s coming to Maryland, we need to be prepared all the time,” Shipley said.
Shipley also recommends people use a NOAA radio, which he says operates on a 24/7 basis, sends out emergency alerts, and tells you what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.