National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2024 Continues Through Saturday

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Hurricane season is officially less than four weeks away, but it’s never too early to prepare.

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center are hosting National Hurricane Preparedness Week in order to prepare inland and coastal residents for the upcoming hurricane season, which starts June 1.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week comes as most agencies predict an above average or hyperactive hurricane season. Colorado State University predicts 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes, and five major hurricanes.

If this forecast verifies, it would be the third-most active season in terms of named storms, behind 2020 and 2005.

But, there are plenty of ways people can prepare ahead of the season. And each day this week is devoted to a different theme. These themes are knowing your risk, prepare before hurricane season, understand forecast information, get moving when a storm threatens, stay protected during storms, use caution after storms, and take action today.

The first thing one can do is determine their risks to water (rain, flooding, and storm surge) and wind. Knowing if you live in an evacuation or flood zone is paramount. Identifying structural risks and insurance gaps is also important.

For people in mobile and manufactured homes, risks due to winds and tornadoes is higher. Hurricanes and tropical cyclones can spawn tornadoes, often with little to no warning.

Preparing before the season can include home strengthening, making a communication plan, getting supplies, and devising a plan in case there is a need to evacuate.

In the off season, getting to know National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service products can help make one make informed decisions during the season. Knowing the difference between a watch and a warning, what storm surge inundation means, and how to read the cone of uncertainty can help keep you protected.

For evacuation, one does not have to go hundreds of miles away to escape a storm’s impact. Sometimes, going only 10 or 20 miles away is enough. Getting to know where shelters operate in your county and which allow pets is important for safety. NEVER leave pets unattended during a storm.

Staying protected during a storm takes multiple different forms, including listening to local officials and weather broadcasters, staying sheltered, and receiving alerts.

After a storm, there are several important points to keep in mind. After a storm, heat, fallen power lines, and flooding all pose significant safety and health hazards. Generators must always be used outdoors, at least 20 feet from the home.

Once you identify your risks, how to address them, and what you would do in an emergency, it’s always good to communicate with family and friends, and even practice your response.

As always, we will help you prepare and keep you informed throughout the hurricane season.

For more details on how to prepare, click here.

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