RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season officially began today and runs through Nov. 30.
Each year ahead of hurricane season, experts at N.C. State, Colorado State and NOAA release predictions for the upcoming season.
Researchers at N.C. State say this hurricane season looks to be close to “normal” with 11 to 15 named storms and four to six of those becoming hurricanes. Colorado State researchers predict a slightly below average hurricane season with 11 named storms and four of those storms strengthening into hurricanes. Experts with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say this hurricane season may be slightly above normal with 11 to 17 named storms and five to nine of those becoming hurricanes.
A “normal” hurricane season in the Atlantic consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
In preparation for hurricane season, NOAA recommends taking certain steps to ensure that you and your family are safe and ready in the event that a hurricane strikes.
1. Determine your risk. Find out what types of hazards may impact your home. Whether its water or wind, hazards associated with a hurricane can reach hundreds of miles inland. Knowing what hazards may affect your home will help you know how to prepare.
2. Develop an evacuation plan. Find out today if you live in an evacuation zone or if you live in a home that may be unsafe during a hurricane. If you do not live in an evacuation zone, find out if your family and friends do. You could be their evacuation destination.
3. Assemble a disaster supply kit. Have enough water, non-perishable food and medicine to last each person in your family one week. You should also have batteries and flashlights on hand in case electricity is out for an extended period of time.
4. Check on your insurance. Make sure you have enough coverage to repair or even replace your home. Keep in mind that you may need to purchase flood insurance separately since most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding.
5. Prepare your home. There are many ways you can strengthen your home if you plan to ride out a storm. Trimming back trees, securing loose outdoor objects and finding a safe place for your car are a few of the ways you can strengthen your home.
6. Check on your neighbors. Once you have your home and family prepared, you can help your neighbors collect supplies and develop their evacuation plan.
7. Complete your written hurricane plan. A written plan ahead of time will help you avoid making the wrong decision when a hurricane strikes. Keep your important documents together for quick access, have photo documentation of your valuables and share your plan with your family.
NOAA says that taking these steps before a hurricane strikes can be the difference between being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.