It’s been over 10 years since the U.S. has experienced a major hurricane on its East or Gulf coast. According to NOAA, a major hurricane is one with sustained wind speeds of at least 111 miles per hour, or at least a category 3 hurricane. You might be thinking, “But what about Hurricane Sandy? Didn’t that storm cause significant damage?” Well, yes, it did, but it wasn’t a major storm. In fact, it was only a category 1 storm. The damage brought on by Sandy was in large part due to massive storm surge. So Sandy wasn’t a major storm, and we’re still waiting for the next big one to hit. Why, then, is this terrifying? The Washington Post suggests that, because of this long-standing drought, people in hurricane-prone areas are growing lax in their preparations. The Washington Post reports that since 2005 – the last major storm – “Florida’s coastal communities have added 1.5 million people and almost a half-million new homes.” That right there is a lot more people that are probably not entirely used to the idea of hurricanes. Experts aren’t sure if residents will be ready for the next big storm. Kim Clockow of the National Weather Service thinks that communities might be under practiced due to the fact that it’s just something they haven’t had to do in a long while. Of course, she also doesn’t believe the lengthy hurricane drought “will make them less concerned.” After all, a hurricane is still a hurricane, and we all know what can happen. But still, if we haven’t done something in a long time and then try and get back into it, it can be much more difficult than we had ever imagined. Take sports. Athletes spend hours and hours each day, every year, to be the very best they can be. If they were to take a year or two (or ten) off, they would be extremely rusty when they came back to the sport. However, after a little bit of practice, it would all come back to them. Note how it is after practicing that their skill would come back to them. It’s not during the first game of the season, but before the season opener comes that they put in the effort to get back in shape, and back in their groove. The same can be said about hurricane – and any other disaster – preparedness. After taking time off from preparing, practicing, and readying yourself for disaster, you will become rusty. Perhaps you haven’t checked your emergency kit in some time. There might be food in there that desperately needs replacing. Or your gear might have been put in a hard-to-reach location since it hasn’t been used in so long. Whatever it is, waiting until that first drought-ending storm comes to get your preparedness back in order is like the aforementioned athlete using his first big game to get back in shape. It won’t end well. Preparing before the storm is essential being safe and mitigating damage and health hazards. Learn how to best prepare by reading this article, Where to Begin Your Hurricane Preparations. It will guide you as you start – or improve – your hurricane preparations. Don’t be caught napping during this hurricane drought. All it takes is one. Get prepared.
Tags: Hurricane drought