If you regularly watch the weather forecast on TV, you’ve likely seen your share of reports on “named storms” that grow from tropical depressions, to tropical storms, to hurricanes. You may also know that the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and an average season produces 12 named storms, with three becoming major hurricanes. In New England, most of our hurricanes have historically touched down between August and September.
One of the risks of talking about the predicted number of storms in a given season, or publicizing a storm name early in its life cycle, is that it can desensitize us to the real risks that exist when a storm reaches land. Active storm seasons might not produce a storm that affects us, while a mild season could produce a single, devastating storm. That’s why it’s important to be ready for storm season before a big storm is barreling down on us.
For hurricane season in New England, we’re most likely to face strong winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, and rip currents. The good news is that you can prepare yourself and your property to better face a storm. It can be done with a few simple steps:
- Trim those Trees: Trim/remove any damaged tree branches from your property that could break and fall.
- No Splashing Zone: Secure any loose rain gutters and clear any clogged areas to prevent water from getting dammed up. Check the seals around your windows and doors to prevent blowing rain from getting in.
- Batten down the Hatches: Seal and secure your roof, replace any missing shingles, and seal your roof deck.
- There Goes the Lawn Furniture! Clear your yard of any items that could be picked up by strong winds. Think lawn furniture, grills and trash cans.
- Move it or lose it: Park your car in a garage or on higher ground. Avoid parking under trees or in low-lying areas prone to flooding.
The best way to stay prepared is to follow the weather and look for alerts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information on hurricanes, check out ready.gov/hurricanes.