June through November each year can be particularly tough on all of the Atlantic areas that typically see hurricanes. It gets its own season of the year, and the U.S. has already seen a few hurricanes and tropical storms roll through since the beginning of June. NOAA predicted in May that the Atlantic hurricane season could be a busy one, and right now it sure feels that way.
Multiple Tropical Storms Are Headed for the East Coast
Hurricane season is in full swing and right now the National Hurricane Center is monitoring several tropical storms headed for the southern part of the East Coast, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Previously named storms Paulette and Rene are churning in the Atlantic, and the next storm, which will be named Sally, could potentially hit soon as well, though it’s unclear if it might come to Florida or more north to the Carolinas. Beyond these three storms, though, there are at least four more brewing that could arrive on the coast relatively soon.
USA Today reported on Sept. 8 that one of these tropical disturbances was just southwest of Bermuda and could potentially come for the Carolinas this week, and the National Hurricane Center is keeping a close watch on all of the weather that’s still off the coast.
What to Do to Prepare for Tropical Storms
It’s important to prepare your home, your property, and yourself for hurricanes and tropical storms. There are a number of things you can do, including:
- Make sure you’re insured: Make sure your home is covered for hurricane damage. This is something you’d typically handle as soon as you move into a hurricane-prone area, but if you haven’t, do it now. Much hurricane damage comes down to flooding and winds, so be sure your property is covered for those. Flood insurance often needs to be added to a standard plan, so be sure to look into that.
- Have a plan: Make a plan immediately to deal with the tropical storm, should you encounter any bad weather. Discuss with your family today what to do if the weather gets out of control and get your house ready by securing any loose items outside (toys, bikes, gardening tools, etc.) and preparing doors and windows for wind and rain. Also make sure you have an evacuation plan should you need one.
- Have your emergency preparedness kit handy: Hopefully you already have an emergency preparedness kit made, but if not, do it now so you have it for this weekend and beyond. Keep COVID-19 in mind and make sure you have sanitizer and a couple spare face masks.
- Prepare your home and property: Like we mentioned, clear up any loose items in your yard or on your property so they don’t get swept away or damaged. If you feel it necessary, you can board up windows and doors. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas should you need to evacuate.
- Make sure you’ve considered everyone in the family: In the chance of a power outage, damage, or flood, make sure you’re prepared for every person in the family. If you have a baby, make sure you’re prepared with everything the baby will need in this situation. If you have pets, make sure to keep them with you and have food for them if you’re evacuating. If a family member is special needs, be sure you have everything they’ll need in an emergency.
Tropical storms are not as disastrous as hurricanes, but it never hurts to be extra prepared just in case. Getting in the habit of doing all these things for each tropical storm or hurricane will also help you build the habits so you know exactly what to do each time a storm hits. This is especially useful if a strong hurricane is coming and you do need to do all these things and evacuate.
What to Do in the Event of Storm Surges and Floods
Hurricanes bring winds and a lot of rain, so there’s a chance you might experience some flooding this weekend. Be prepared in advance by first making sure you have that flood insurance. Once that’s covered, make sure you know what to do if the water is rising on your property. One of the most important things to not do is go into any enclosed spaces high up in your house. While a good rule of thumb is to find higher ground, you also don’t want to get trapped anywhere. This may mean leaving your house to find higher ground.
If you’re in your car when a flash flood happens, stay inside the car. You’re actually safer in the car rather than in rushing waters outside. However, if the water level is getting to a dangerous height, get onto the roof of your car to signal for help.
[ Read: The Best Water Leak Detectors of 2020 ]
One of the most important things to keep in mind during flash floods but also with any standing water in general is the risk of electrocution. If your home is starting to flood, turn off the power so you don’t run the risk of an electric shock from touching electricity and water at the same time. Downed power lines outside are also extremely dangerous and should be completely avoided.
The Bottom Line
The Southeastern U.S. is likely to see a lot of weather this month from a few different tropical storms. Be prepared now with a plan for your home and your family and be sure you have an emergency preparedness kit should you need it. Get your house ready by removing loose items from the outside and board up the windows should you be concerned about heavy winds.
(Photo by Darwin Brandis / GettyImages)