Prepare now for potentially active hurricane season

Official forecasts all point to a more active season than average

Prepare now for potentially active hurricane season
Hurricanes, tropical storms, and their remnants can impact Virginia with high winds, heavy rain, coastal flooding, and even tornadoes. (Source: WWBT)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The start of hurricane season is less than one month away, and forecasts for the 2020 hurricane season point to a busier than average year in the Atlantic basin.

Pennsylvania State University, Colorado State University, and North Carolina State University are all in agreement on an above average hurricane season.

2020's hurricane season will likely be more active than usual, based on the projections from three universities that issue annual hurricane forecasts.
2020's hurricane season will likely be more active than usual, based on the projections from three universities that issue annual hurricane forecasts. (Source: WWBT)

In late March, NBC12 wrote about the possibility of a La Niña leading to an above average Atlantic hurricane season. Even if a La Niña does not develop, a neutral ENSO year (with no La Nina or El Nino) can also bring a more active hurricane season than average.

Warmer than average water temperatures in the Atlantic are an additional reason for the above average hurricane forecast.

Of course, the number of storms that occur is not as important as whether the storms that form make landfall, which is impossible to know until after a storm develops.

It’s best to prepare for the possibility of impacts from tropical storms or hurricanes during quiet weather, well before a storm is headed toward your area. The first full week of May is designated as Hurricane Preparedness Week 2020.

Hurricane preparedness week is the first full week of May in 2020.
Hurricane preparedness week is the first full week of May in 2020. (Source: WWBT)

The first step to be prepared for hurricane season is to know your risk. Up and down the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, low lying areas are at risk of coastal flooding. You can determine if your location is at risk from storm surge flooding by visiting the Know Your Zone Virginia website.

If you live in an evacuation zone, now is the time to prepare your evacuation plan. You don’t need to travel hundreds of miles to flee a hurricane, you only need to get away from coastal locations at risk of flooding.

Find out if you live an evacuation zone, and if you do, make sure you know where you will go if evacuation orders are issued.
Find out if you live an evacuation zone, and if you do, make sure you know where you will go if evacuation orders are issued. (Source: NOAA)

Even though Richmond is not on the coast, tropical storms, hurricanes, and their remnants (leftovers) can still bring heavy rain, inland flooding, high winds, and even tornadoes to all of Central Virginia. Have an emergency kit ready to go before a storm is in the forecast, because supplies may be difficult/impossible to find as a storm approaches.

Have a disaster supply kit ready to go well before a storm threatens.
Have a disaster supply kit ready to go well before a storm threatens. (Source: NOAA)

It’s a good idea to do an insurance checkup to make sure you have proper insurance in the event a hurricane causes damage (flood, homeowner’s, etc). You can reduce the risk of damage to your home by removing trees which may fall on your home during high winds.

Get an insurance checkup now and make sure you have the proper insurance for your situation.
Get an insurance checkup now and make sure you have the proper insurance for your situation. (Source: NOAA)

Lastly, have a written plan ready to put into action if a hurricane or tropical storm is headed toward your area. If you do all of the above, you will be well prepared for whatever mother nature throws your way.

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