The Weather Channel reports that the mid season forecast calls for a slight uptick in hurricane activity in the Atlantic this season. The new numbers call for a total of 20 storms with 10 reaching hurricane status and 5 at category 3 or higher. The change is because water temperatures in the South Atlantic are higher than expected and that could over ride the wind sheer that typically occurs during LaNina weather patterns.
There is no reasonable way to predict if the Eastern Shore will be threatened by tropical activity as we move in to August and September, usually the most active hurricane times on the southeast coast. The bottom line is that if a hurricane hits your neighborhood, you’ve had a bad hurricane season.
Just a reminder, often there is little you can do to mitigate hurricane damage but the most important thing you can do in advance is have a plan. Know where your house is and if there is a potential for flooding both at your house and over the roads out of your neighborhood.
Answer the following questions:
If called to evacuate, where would you go? The best option would be to find a friend or relative outside of the flood zone who will welcome your visit during the worst of the storm. Another option would be to book a hotel room somewhere along Rt. 13 . Another option would be to leave the Shore altogether, which usually isn’t necessary can be done. Finally there are public shelters which are set up at local high and middle schools. These are safe facilities but you have to bring bedding, chairs and there is no real privacy at these facilities.
What about your pets? There is one pet shelter on the Eastern Shore and that is at Nandua Middle School. Other public shelters prohibit pets.You need to have a plan on how to keep your pet safe if you need to leave it home.
If you have a boat in the water, try to pull it out if you can. If you can’t make sure you add extra lines or move it to a sheltered location. The Onancock Wharf is open if space is available and their policy is no charge for storm shelter customers. Get your boat secure and out of the way no later than 36 hours ahead of the predicted storm arrival time.
Make sure you accumulate several gallons of water along with an emergency kit that includes a radio with extra batteries, 2 days of non perishable food, a can opener, medicine if needed and other items you will need iincluding medicines in case the power is out for an extended period of time.
Be prepared to board up windows if necessary. Plan to leave if you live in a heavily wooded area or in a mobile home as well as in a flood prone area.
You can find the answers to most of your questions on the Hurricane Survival Guide at ShoreDailyNews.com sponsored by A&N Electric Co-operative or on the print edition available at numerous local businesses.