It’s August — which means it’s also the time of year expert sources consider the beginning of the peak of hurricane season. With everything else this year has brought, 2020 is also expected to bring an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The latest outlook from The Weather Company predicts 20 named storms, expecting that eight will be hurricanes and four will be Category 3 or higher.
Whether you’re centered in the path of the hurricane or facing lesser storms a little way off the coast, it’s important to be aware of and prepare for hurricane season. Ask yourself the following questions to understand and plan for the storm season ahead.
When is hurricane season?
The Atlantic Hurricane Season, impacting the East Coast of the U.S. and southern states like Louisiana and Texas, runs from June 1 to November 30. August through September is considered the most intense part of hurricane season across the board.
How does hurricane season affect my area?
There are varying degrees of severity in hurricane/storm impact across the United States. In general, southern coasts — specifically the Southeast — experience worse conditions and higher levels of destruction. The states that are hit by hurricanes the most are Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, New York and Massachusetts.
But, no matter where you live, it is important to stay tuned to trusted sources of meteorological news during hurricane season, and especially during specific storms. The Weather Channel provides constant updates on storm development, including predictions and live radars. Local news channels can provide updates specifically about the storm’s impact on your area.
How is my home vulnerable?
It’s good to understand your home’s vulnerability, different states have different building specifications. At worst, a hurricane can rip apart a home’s structure through strong winds, collapse it due to flooding and more. But, there are many other ways that such a powerful storm can leave damage in its wake. Loose structures or property can, with the force of the wind, cause damage to the exterior of the home. Leaks in the roof, basement and windows can result in flooding, a compromised structure and other forms of water damage. Check in on all susceptible points in your house including, but not exclusive to, your roof, garage, basement, porches, windows, doors, wiring, lawn, etc.
How do I prepare my home accordingly?
To be the most proactive homeowner during storm season, consider the following tips to prevent damage:
- Secure/seal your roof
- Secure porches and carports
- Seal windows and doors
- Seal holes created for cables and/or electrical wiring brought in from the outside
- Declutter drains and gutters
- Clear your lawn of all furniture, potted plants, toys, etc.
- Reinforce your garage
- Look into installing hurricane shutters
As we enter hurricane season, it’s vital to be aware and get prepared. Track the latest weather updates, protect yourself and your loved ones, and equip your home to best battle this season’s storms.