It seems last hurricane season just ended, but it’s been several months,, and it’s time to begin preparing for the 2014 season.
Last year, by all accounts, was a bust in the long range hurricane forecast. Long range forecasters had predicted a very active season, but we ended up with one of the quietest seasons on record, and no hurricanes hitting the U.S. The season started out fast with Tropical Storm Andrea forming in early June and crossing north Florida into the southeast., but that was the only named storm to landfall in the U.S.
This year, early forecasts hint at a possible phase of El Nino, warming waters in the eastern Pacific that affect worldwide climate. In the Atlantic, increasing upper level wind speeds can shear storms early, before they are fully developed. El Nino years typically see fewer hurricanes, but there are exceptions, like the 1992 season, and hurricane Andrew. The category 5 storm was the first named storm of the season and formed in late August but made history by destroying parts of South Florida and Louisiana.
No doubt, several agencies will issue forecasts for the season again, and we will report those numbers. But let me appeal to you and ask that you prepare the same every year, no matter if those forecasts call for an active, or a quiet season. As we learned from Hurricane Andrew over 20 years ago, it doesn’t take a lot of storms to devastate your community, it only takes one.
Your family preparation story is unique, but everyone must be aware of where they live, if they have to evacuate, and how they would plan to survive the storm, and the weeks and months of its aftermath. Taking a few minutes to review our guide and know your family’s story will give you great comfort, and help you to prepare for what we hope will never happen, a major hurricane landfall somewhere in the Tampa Bay area.