June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. NOAA officials warn us to expect an “active to extremely active” hurricane season in the Atlantic. For the 2010 hurricane season, NOAA is predicted anywhere from 14 to 23 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or more) including 8 to 14 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or more) and 3 to 7 major hurricanes (winds of at least 111 mph).
In announcing the 2010 hurricane season projections last week, NOAA Administrator Lubchenco said, “If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record. The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”
There is a wealth of information out there on hurricane preparedness. Some of the best comes from NOAA and FEMA. NOAA’S National Hurricane Center is the go-to place to follow active storms and determine when and where they will impact coastal communities. FEMA’s Ready.gov website includes information on preparing your home, community and business for a hurricane. Ready.gov also includes interactive content to educate children on hurricane preparedness.
NOAA and FEMA have also teamed up with the American Red Cross to set up a suite of social media tools to share information in preparation for and in the aftermath of a hurricane or other major coastal storm. One particularly useful tool is the FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Widget which you can add to any website by clicking on the image on the right.