2018 Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 6th – 12th)
Elmore County – Everyone in Alabama needs to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms as the season quickly approaches beginning June 1st and lasting through November 30th.
Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Inland areas, well away from the coastline, can experience destructive winds, tornadoes and devastating floods from these tropical systems. Hurricanes are large storm systems that can measure as much as 300 to 500 miles across. In a hurricane, the winds rapidly increase in strength from the weakest on the outer fringes of the storm to the strongest near the eye. Hurricane winds are most intense around the perimeter of the eye, or within the area of the storm called the eye wall. This area is generally from 15 to 20 miles wide and also contains the most intense rainfall. As a hurricane moves inland, away from the coastline, winds begin to rapidly decrease, but may remain above hurricane strength well inland. Wind damage patterns are often very different from storm to storm.
The following graphic shows the potential for the Gulf of Mexico to be a favored region for tropical storm and hurricane development this hurricane season.
According to Alabama Emergency Management Agency Meteorologist, Jim Stefkovich, “In June 2017, Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall on the TX/LA coast, yet was responsible for producing tornadoes as far north as Birmingham.” He also says, “that other systems over the years have also produced widespread and deadly flash flooding across large portions of the state.”
For residents along the central Gulf coast, the key to protecting yourself and your family is preparation. Main preparations before hurricane season include ensuring that you understand your risk; you have the plans in place to take care of yourself, family, pets and business; have adequate emergency supplies on hand; your insurance is up to date, and that your home and area around your home are in good condition. Special considerations should be taken for young children, the elderly, those with functional needs, and pets.
The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center have featured different topics each day this week spotlighting how to be prepared for the upcoming Hurricane season. Please find them listed below:
May 6- Know Your Hurricane Risk
Check with local officials to understand your risk.
Search online to find your local emergency management agency to learn more.
Sign up for local alerts or download the FEMA app.
May 7- Know Your Evacuation Zone
Learn your evacuation zone, route, and an alternate location to stay.
Include pets when planning to evacuate.
Practice your plan.
May 8- Assemble Disaster Supplies
Gather needed supplies for at least 10 days.
Don’t forget your specific needs like meds, powered devices, pets etc.
Keep cash in your emergency kit.
May 9- Prepare Financially
Start an emergency savings fund.
Check your insurance coverage to make sure you have enough coverage.
Learn more about flood insurance by visiting: http://www.floodsmart.gov
May 10- Strengthen Your Home
Make sure your home is in good repair and meets local hurricane building codes.
Declutter drains and gutters, trim trees, secure loose outdoor items & secure doors.
Know a safe location to move your car during a hurricane.
May 11- Help Your Neighbors
Get to know your neighbors before an emergency strikes.
Make sure they have a plan before and after a hurricane.
Exchange contact information
May 12- Make an Emergency Plan
Write down your hurricane plan & share it.
Make a plan of how you will get in touch with others before, during, and after.
Take photos of important documents and store them in a secure place.
The following link to the National Weather Service give important information for hurricane safety before, during, and after the storm, go to:
As always, Elmore County EMA encourages all citizens to prepare and always be weather aware.
Eric Jones, Elmore County EMA