With hurricane Laura hitting Louisiana about a month, following the National oceanic and atmospheric administration predictions, NOAA has asked us to brace ourselves for more since the world expects to be hit by far more hurricanes this year, unlike other years. The hurricane season begins on 1st June and goes through to November. However, this year has been significantly different, with three named hurricanes occurring before June and nine happening before august than the usual expected two. Unlike other hurricane seasons, this year, it is likely that 19-25 storms will hit the earth.
How hurricanes are formed:
Hurricanes are formed over the warm ocean water of the tropics. Once warm moist air over the ocean rises, cold air replaces it. The cooler air then warms and starts to increase; This is the sequence that causes storm clouds to form. These storm clouds begin rotating, creating an organized system with every spin of the earth. With the availability of enough warm water, the cycle continues, and storm clouds and wind speed grows, causing a hurricane to form.
This year will be different from others due to warmer water and calmer atmosphere in spring and summer over the North Atlantic ocean, which has also created conducive conditions for the rapid growth of intense hurricanes.
The most recent hurricane Laura, was destructive, taking six lives in Louisiana and left property worth billions of money shattered. It is sad to keep losing lives amid a global pandemic. Here are some measures to take in preparation for a hurricane.
Preparing for hurricanes during the hurricane season.
Be alert not to miss hurricane news updates.
For the season beginning 1st June, you should always be up to date with weather reports from NOAA and other local weather news. Identify your location and beware of all the evacuation routes from your area. Check-in with neighbors to know of community strategy and preparedness if there are any, e.g. if there is a community shelter.
You can also set up extreme weather notification on your phone just to be updated anywhere any time (How to Enable Severe Weather Warnings on Your Smartphone).
Plan for when the hurricane hits.
Discuss and make evacuation plans with your family evacuation; here, do not forget to factor pets in being part of your family. Ensure everyone knows where to meet when the hurricane hits and have them memorize common family contact if you get separated during the storm or just before the hurricane.
Be sure to come up with an emergency package.
Items to set aside in preparation for a hurricane in 2020
This kit should be well equipped with:
- First aid kits- that will be helpful in case one of you gets hurt during the storm.
- Sleeping bags, blankets, paper towels, novels, and indoor games. It must be pretty boring to hide out in a shelter, not knowing when you will be out; these might help ease things and brighten the mood.
- Portable weather reporting radios with enough batteries to power it. Important in keeping you up-to-date if and when the storm will die out when it hits since electricity might have died out.
- Basic repair tools. In case the windows get blown off, leakage or breakage occurs, you should be ready to fix it.
- Remember to restock food supplies, make sure these supplies will be mostly non-perishables that can last for at least one week and enough clean water for drinking and sanitation purposes.
- Do not forget flashlights, candles, and lighters; the storm may distort the electric power supply.
`Hurricane-proof ‘your home.
Reinforce your home to prevent debris, dust, and other items carried by the storm from entering your house.
- Begin with securing all wall hangings, pieces of art, and trophies. In case the wind blows off the winds, you don’t want your wall hangings falling.
- Unplug all home appliances, especially electronic devices
- Reinforce your windows with storm shutters; fasten the roof depending on the wind; they may be blown away. Better safe than sorry.
- Secure all outdoor furniture, toys, and any other loose-fittings and store them indoors for a while for them not to be swept away or even destroyed
- Prune trees, clear bushes, and dead branches. When the winds blow, you should be clear of all dangerous debris from your compound.
- Keep all drainages and gutters clean to allow the free movement of water.
Keep a record of all your belongings.
Please take account of all your documents and keep them safe in a waterproof bag or safe.
Survival tips during a hurricane
When the hurricane hits, don’t panic. Here are tips for you on how to survive:
- Keep listening to the radio for weather updates and evacuation instructions.
- Do not use your phone unnecessarily phone to save power for emergencies only.
- Stay indoors, away from windows and doors.
- Fill your bathtub and containers with water for sanitation. Remember, some hurricanes can stay for long, some almost a week.
- Avoid shelters in lowlands that are prone to floods.