Tips and Strategies to Prepare for Atlantic Hurricane Season
The beginning of June means the beginning of Atlantic hurricane season. And the period, historically extending from 1 June to 30 November, is only getting longer. Will this year be any different? Read on to learn what NOAA is predicting, and how you can prepare for Atlantic hurricane season.
Forecasters predict another above-average Atlantic hurricane season
Well, on this first front, things are looking bleak. NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicts an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, thanks to above-average temperatures in the Atlantic basin.
Sounds familiar? That’s because it is.
This will be the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season forecasted by the Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.
Underneath the hood, details are even more grim.
According to NOAA, Atlantic basin areas will be facing the ongoing La Niña, likely to persist throughout the hurricane season, in addition to warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, as well as conditions in Africa supportive of stronger easterly waves.
As a result, the current Atlantic hurricane season outlook points to 14 to 21 named storms, six to ten hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes. For context: 2017, one of the most destructive years in history, saw six major hurricanes.
What’s the probability? Well, forecasters suggest a 65 per cent likelihood of an above-normal season, with 25 and 10 per cent probabilities of near-normal and below-normal seasons, respectively.
Tips and strategies to prepare for the Atlantic Hurricane Season
Organizations, in their turn, must start preparing. Early preparation, in particular, is key to being hurricane resilient.
And that begins with the severe weather emergency plan. When tailoring the plan to your site’s design, make sure to consult an engineer or architect. That person will help to identify safety zones within the structure.
In addition, outline roles, responsibilities, and duties for site supervisors and other staff members involved in managing the emergency. The resultant plan will likely cover the following:
- Protocols to follow during severe weather incidents
- A definition of teams assigned to the incident
- Roles, responsibilities, and expectations for all team members
- High-level considerations to follow
- Clear action plans to execute
- An evacuation strategy
When planning for a severe weather incident, ensure that your incident response team has ready access to contact information for key stakeholders, too. Who are they? Relevant stakeholders are likely to include:
- Emergency services
- Local emergency information line
- Local police department
- Local fire department
- Local hospital
And if your organization uses emergency management software, which it should, make sure that an up-to-date contact list is easily accessible within that system.
Importance of communications technology in preparing for Atlantic hurricane season
Further, when incident response goes awry, flawed communication is often to blame. It’s easy to understand why. Without a proactive, emergency weather-focused media strategy, rumor, innuendo, and misinformation spread.
Your communication plan, as such, should address central points, like what communications you’ll deploy in the event of an incident (landline telephone, mobile phones, two-way radio, etc.).
For a comprehensive list of communications methods and more tips and strategies on how to prepare for this Atlantic hurricane season, download our guide to Developing a Severe Weather Playbook.