It is currently hurricane season for the Atlantic and Pacific regions of the United States.
As I write this article, Hurricane Florence is a Category 3 storm with the potential to reach Category 4 status. As of now, the storm has an uncertain path, but East Coast folks – please watch this one closely, as some models suggest it could head right for you.
Helene and Issac could form in the Atlantic later this week. In the Pacific, Hurricanes Olivia and Norman are being watched closely.
Hurricanes are unpredictable, as anyone who has experienced one knows. This makes them challenging to prepare for, but fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your odds of survival, should one head for your region.
It is important to understand that a hurricane need not be a Category 5 to be incredibly dangerous and cause serious damage. When Hurricane Isabel hit my Virginia neighborhood in 2003, the storm was barely a Category 1. It was the first (and to date, the only – thankfully) hurricane I’ve experienced personally, and back then I really had no idea how difficult the aftermath would be.
I fully expected the “authorities” to take care of everything after Isabel passed. I thought they’d clean up all the debris and have the roads cleared and power on within a day or two.
I was seriously mistaken.
Isabel had an unusually large wind field (an example of a hurricane doing “unpredictable” things). Thousands of trees were uprooted. Power lines and telephone poles were downed all over. Hundreds of houses were damaged…many beyond repair. Hundreds of roads, including major highways, were blocked by fallen trees and other debris. The heavy rainfall caused inland flooding, which closed roads and damaged homes and businesses.
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