With the June 1st beginning of the 2011 hurricane season looming in the not-too-distant future, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its forecasts for major storms in the Atlantic, Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific ocean basins earlier today. While NOAA scientists anticipate below average hurricane activity in the Pacific, communities along America’s eastern seaboard were warned that it could be an above normal tropical storm and hurricane season.
“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “However, we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”
For the six-month Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA is predicting anywhere from 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher) including six to 10 which could become hurricanes (winds of 75 mph or higher) and three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
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 offer a suite of social media tools to share information in preparation for and in the aftermath of a hurricane or other major coastal storm. These tools can provide vital information to survivors and/or evacuees displaced by a storm. One particularly useful tool is the Ready.gov Hurricane Preparedness Widget which you can add to any website by clicking on the image on the right.
Stay tuned to Coast Guard Compass as we move closer to the June 1st beginning of the 2011 hurricane season for more on how you can prepare and protect yourself and your property from major storms.