2021’s Hurricane Season began Tuesday June 1 and will remain with us until Tuesday November 30. While not predicted to be as bad as last year, this year is predicted to be much worse than average.
Rytech has gathered recommendations, including some valuable links to official sources, so you can make sure you and your family are protected before, during and after the storm.
To be clear, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts 6 to 10 hurricanes, of which 3 to 5 could be “major”—that is, at least a Category 3 with winds greater than 111 mph. NOAA also forecasts a total of 13 to 20 “named” storms, meaning those with winds speeds of at least 39 mph.
For what it’s worth, determining an “average” season is calculated using a 30 year period, in this case from 1991 to 2020. So the average hurricane season is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
Of course, it’s all just a prediction, a scientific best guess, if you will. Last year’s season, for example, was predicted to have 13 to 19 “named” storms according to the NOAA. Instead we got a record 30 storms, with an unprecedented 11 landfalls, six of which were full-fledged hurricanes.
For the odds makers, the experts at Colorado State University provide the following percentages to help predict “major” hurricanes in 2021: there is a 69% chance a “major” hurricane will hit somewhere on the U.S. coast, the average is 52 %; there is a 45% chance that a “major” hurricane will hit the U.S. East Coast, including the peninsula of Florida, the average is 31 %; there is a 4% chance for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville Texas where the average has been 30%; and finally a 58% chance for a strike in the Caribbean where the average is 42%.
With odds like these it behooves everyone, particularly Gulf Coast residents, to be prepared. In addition to keeping Rytech’s number handy (1-800-980-0122), here are ways to make sure you and your family are ready…before, during and after.
It’s important to have the right supplies if you are forced to evacuate–also useful if you stay home but suffer loss of power. One common trend as a hurricane approaches is wide-spread panic–people in large numbers rushing to get needed supplies. Avoid the chaos by keeping the following items stored in an easily transportable fashion.
- Non-perishable food (enough to last at least 3 days)
- Water (enough to last at least 3 days)
- First-aid kit (include any prescription medication you may need)
- Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
- Flashlights (have extra batteries on hand)
- Battery operated radio (again, have extra batteries)
- Waterproof container with cash and important documents
- Manual can opener
- Lighter or matches
- Books, magazines, games for recreation
- Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
- Cooler and ice packs
- A plan for evacuation and what to do if family members are separated
Securing Your Home
- Cover all of your windows, either with hurricane shutters or wood.
- Although tape can prevent glass from shattering, tape alone does not prevent the window from breaking.
- If possible, use straps or clips to fasten your roof to the structure of your home.
- Make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed and clear your rain gutters.
- Reinforce your garage doors.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, garbage cans, decorations, and anything else not tied down.
- If winds become strong, stay away from windows and close, secure and brace internal doors.
- Gas–Make sure your tank is full far in advance of an approaching storm. Most people wait until the last minute and during the rush gas stations can run out early.
- ATM’S— Have extra cash on hand in the event no ATMS in your area are accessible or working.
- Cell Phones–Charge your cell phone and limit use after power is out.
- A/C— Try to prevent as much light from entering and warming the house by covering up your windows on the inside. If you have back-up or battery operated fans, don’t run them unless you are in the room. Fans create a difference in perceived temperature but do not cool the room; instead they create a cooling effect by dispersing the heat off your skin. It is said they can actually add heat to a room just by running.
- Water— Fill bathtub and large containers with water for washing and flushing only.
- Food— Turn your fridge temperature down and/or freeze any food or drinking water that can be frozen if you expect a power outage. Here is a guide on freezing food: Freezing and Food Safety. Have a cooler with ice packs prepared to cool your drinks and snacks after power has been out for more than 4 hours. Check out this food safety guide for when to discard your perishable items.
- Health/Safety–The CDC has a great guide on how to stay safe in the event of Power Outages
Finally, for a detailed Florida specific video dealing with preparedness, insurance and fraud issues, Flood insurance and the overall claims process, see Florida Department of Financial Services Hurricane Preparedness.
For a downloadable brochure that can be distributed by anyone, including: insurance agents, homeowners associations and condominium associations direct to consumers, see: A Toolkit for Consumers courtesy of Florida’s Department of Financial Services.
Also see the Rytech Dry Log article “Top Five Things Floridians Need to Know About Insurance and Hurricanes.”
NOTE: Rytech is a coast-to-coast firm experienced in hurricane water loss mitigation. Throughout the Gulf Coast and especially in Florida, Rytech has been responding to hurricanes since its founding over 25 years ago. This includes the unprecedented 2020 season and the back-to-back seasons of 2004 and 2005. Call Rytech for all of your water and mold remediation needs: 1-800-980-0122.