From the Harford County Department of Emergency Services:
(Forest Hill, MD) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced its outlook for the 2014 hurricane season which began June 1 and continues through November 30, 2014. NOAA is predicting a near-normal or slightly below normal season for Atlantic hurricanes. However, climate change can drastically change the intensity and frequency of big storms.
According to NOAA, the weather phenomenon known as “El Nino”, which changes rain and temperature patterns around the world, is expected to suppress the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin in 2014.
During the six month hurricane season, NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of eight – thirteen named storms, six hurricanes to include three major hurricanes in the Atlantic region. The Atlantic hurricane region consists of the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
Historically, forecasters name tropical storms when top speeds reach 39 mph; hurricanes are named when the storm develops winds of at least 74 mph. The first storm of the 2014 hurricane season is slated to be named Arthur.
The most active Atlantic hurricane season on record occurred in 2005. Storms killed approximately 4,000 people and caused billions in property damage.
Two keys to emergency preparedness and especially weather safety are to prepare for potential risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by public safety officials.
In preparation for the 2014 hurricane season, the Harford County Department of Emergency Services offers the following recommendations for citizens to follow:
–Take action now by preparing for serious storms and hurricanes.
–Prepare a basic disaster supplies kit for the family and loved ones. The kit should include but is not limited to:
› Flashlight with extra batteries
› Battery powered radio
› Basic first aid kit
› Three day supply of water per person per day
› Cell phone with charger
› Three day supply of non-perishable food
–In the event an evacuation is necessary, prepare a pre-plan for travel and lodging arrangements
–Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals
Commenting on emergency preparedness for the 2014 Hurricane season, Harford County Emergency Manager Richard Ayers said, “It only takes one hurricane or severe storm to cause major damage to our county and disrupt services to citizens. Preparation and early planning is essential for the public’s safety and well-being”, Ayers remarked.
For further information on emergency and storm preparedness, visit the Harford County Department of Emergency Services website at www.harfordpublicsafety.org or call 410-638-4900. An additional reference is www.ready.gov.