Hurricane news recently reported that the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season has already produced four tropical cyclones before the mid-point of July, which is a quick start for what is historically a slower time of the Hurricane Season.
However, according to experts, this may indicate an above-average hurricane season.
Recent forecasts released by Colorado State University, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and The Weather Company also predict a busy Hurricane Season this year.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season is a time when most tropical cyclones are expected to develop across the Northern Atlantic Ocean. It is currently defined as the time frame from June 1 through November 30, though in the past the season was defined as a shorter time frame.
Grand Bahama is still recovering from the Category 4 Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the island on October 6, 2016 and it is essential that residents prepare for the current active season.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the two key factors contributing to weather safety during hurricanes, are preparing in advance for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials.
One of the worst things persons living along coastlines can do is not prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes.
Director of the National Hurricane Center, Rick Knabb, and AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski, outlined some precautionary steps that people in areas impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms should take.
The first precaution is having an evacuation plan.
Recently, Tammi Mitchell, of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) stated she hoped to put her experience in disaster management to good use by creating disaster management teams, “where you really know what’s going on in those areas. You know your neighbors, you know what the strengths are and the weaknesses, and you even have possible evacuation routes for persons who would need to get out if there is an emergency,” she said.
Karen Leadon, Deputy Chairperson for 2017-2020 West Grand Bahama Township also shared that she wants to implement a strategic plan for hurricane preparedness.
Persons should also buy supplies, such as food, water, batteries, a battery operated radio, a first aid kit, and other items to make the traumatic experience as comfortable as possible like a generator.
It is also important for residents to secure their homes by doing things like installing hurricane shutters, or using plywood to cover windows that are not storm proof, and making use of sandbags to help prevent flooding.
Homeowners and car owners should also check their insurance coverage. Property owners and renters should be sure to insure their homes against flooding. Car owners should also contact auto insurance companies and move their cars into an off-site location or secured building.
Residents can also be mindful to secure and make copies of important documents as well as back up electronics.