Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Preparing for hurricane season: New podcast features tips from National Hurricane Center

The 2013 hurricane season is now officially underway. To help Americans be prepared, the Get Ready Report Podcast team spoke with staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center.

According to NOAA, there’s a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms this season, well above the seasonal average of 12. The agency says as many as 11 of those storms could become hurricanes.

Hurricanes can cause three major hazards: strong winds, storm surges and inland flooding, according to James Franklin, branch chief at the National Hurricane Center.

“People need to know what those hazards can do, and then know which of those hazards you’re particularly vulnerable to, depending on where you live,” Franklin says in the new podcast.

Anyone who lives along the East Coast from Texas to Maine is at potential risk. But Franklin notes that hurricanes are not just coastal threats, citing 2012’s Hurricane Sandy as an example of when wind gusts were produced as far as Wisconsin.

Here are some tips to use this hurricane season:
  • Become familiar with information and alerts from both the National Hurricane Center and your local weather center. 
  • Understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. During a watch, prepare your home, review your plan for evacuation and listen closely for instructions from local officials. During a warning, finish preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by officials.
  • Develop a plan that includes an evacuation strategy and an emergency supply kit, including enough water and nonperishable food to last at least three days, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, a battery-operated radio, extra batteries and medical supplies. 
 For more tips on how to prepare for hurricanes, check out our Get Ready hurricane fact sheet.

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