The 2019 hurricane season is here! The National Hurricane Center explains that 97% of all hurricanes occur between June 1st and November 30th. Hurricanes are less likely in the beginning of the season but not impossible. Protect your home by preparing before a water disaster strikes.
A hurricane is made up of many conditions coming together to create the perfect storm. The National Weather Service writes that the following six conditions create hurricanes.
- Ocean temperatures need to be above 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Hurricanes can only occur in areas that are at least five degrees latitude away from the equator.
- Heat needs to be produced near the center of the hurricane due to the condensation of water vapor. This is called a saturated lapse rate.
- Wind speed needs to drop with height. High winds that are strong can destroy storms.
- High humidity is needed through multiple layers of the atmosphere.
- If a thunderstorm encounters the conditions mentioned above, it will turn into a tropical storm or hurricane.
High winds are a sure sign of a hurricane. They can flip cars, rip away siding and break windows. Hurricane-force winds are anywhere between 74 to over 157 miles per hour. The flying debris that high winds pick up are extremely dangerous all on its own, traveling far distances and being thrown out of the air at random.
Heavy rain in a short amount of time can lead to flash flooding. This type of flooding is especially dangerous because you don’t have much time to react. Long term flooding is also common especially near rivers or other bodies of water.
Hurricane conditions can produce large waves called storm surges. These large waves are known to destroy buildings, highways and harbors along the coastline. Even strong infrastructure can sustain heavy damage due to powerful waves.
How to Prepare
- Start by signing up for your local emergency alert system. Paying attention to the news is important but being automatically alerted in case of a hurricane may give you the extra time you need to gather supplies or evacuate.
- Create a plan. Meet with your family to discuss evacuation routes, a safe meeting place and the dos and don’ts of hurricane season.
- Gather supplies. An emergency kit usually includes water, food, extra batteries for a radio and any other necessities you need for a few days.
- Protect important documents. Place originals in an airtight container on a high shelf and make digital copies that can be accessed anywhere.
- Record your belongings with photos and videos. A visual representation of the items in your home is helpful when filing an insurance claim.
What to Expect
Most 2019 hurricane predictions are about average. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “This outlook forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season.” In other words, there shouldn’t be abnormal hurricane activity this year. However, damage can still take place with the average number of hurricanes expected, about 4-8.
ServiceMaster of Germantown is your local damage restoration experts. If you experience water damage this hurricane season, contact us at 901-854-6225.
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