With hurricane season just beginning on June 1, it is important to be prepared in the event that severe weather comes our way.
Last hurricane season was record-breaking with 30 named storms, 13 hurricanes and six major hurricanes. According to Coffee County EMA Director James Brown, this year’s outlook looks to also be above average, with a 6-in -10 chance of an above-normal season and a 4-in-10 chance of near or below normal season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting between 13-20 named storms, between 6-10 Hurricanes and between 3-5 major hurricanes. For reference, a “normal” season is 14 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes (for years 1991-2020).
“NOAA currently places 70% confidence in their predicted ranges. However, it only takes one of these in our area to cause major disruption and damage,” Brown said.
The most important thing is to be ready by having a plan and making an emergency supply kit.
Basic emergency supply kits include:
Water and non-perishable food for several days
Extra cell phone battery or charger
Battery powered or hand crank radio that can receive NOAA Weather Radio tone alert
First aid kit
Items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit inlcude:
Prescription medications and glasses
Infant formula and diapers
Pet food, water and supplies
Important family documents, such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in waterproof containers
Cash and change
Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer
To ensure you have a way to get warnings and alerts, download the FEMA app at https://www.fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/mobile-app-text-messages to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign-up for the Coffee County alerts system by going to https://al-coffeecounty.regroup.com/signup or texting “Join 413917” to 30890.