At the time of this writing, Hurricane Arthur is churning out in the Atlantic Ocean threatening the East Coast of the United States and containing sustained winds of 50 mph. He’s a little early since Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November. Sixteen hurricanes are already named for the 2020 hurricane season. The peak of hurricane season is from August through September, with the month of September producing the most hurricanes. Meteorologists are predicting that the U. S. has a 69% chance of a hurricane in 2020 hitting the U. S. proper. They are also warning that Florida and the East Coast will have a “brutal” hurricane season this year.
Hurricanes are rated according to windspeed. According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, a Category 1 has windspeeds from 74-95 mph. A Category 2 hurricane has a windspeed of up to 110 mph. Category 3 is considered a major hurricane with windspeeds up to 129 mph. Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes are considered catastrophic hurricanes with windspeeds of 130-156 mph and 157 mph or higher, respectively.
So Americans need to be prepared! Hurricanes are devastating to property and people, so it is extremely important to stay ready. How do we go about doing that? First, make sure you are familiar with your evacuation route. Keep a container filled with non-perishable items such as batteries, candles, a 3-day supply of bottled water, food that doesn’t require refrigeration, materials and tools, etc. Create a home inventory, and check your insurance policies making sure your coverage is adequate for replacement of damaged property. If you are living in a flood zone, make sure you have flood insurance. Take this information and your ID with you when you evacuate. Don’t forget your pets; do not leave them behind, or they may not survive. Secure the exterior of your home, and park vehicles that you are leaving behind in a flood-free area or secure them safely in your garage. Keep your vehicles ready to go by making sure you have plenty of gas and fill up ahead of time. Stay informed by listening for emergency alerts from FEMA and the Emergency Alert System (EAS).
Now, you are packed and ready to evacuate out of harm’s way. Follow the evacuation routes which are marked on the roadways, and you will have successfully avoided the devastating effects of a hurricane.