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Somewhere in the Atlantic right now, another storm is forming. It could turn into a devastating hurricane. Are you ready for this? Unfortunately, the evidence shows that most of us are not.

As an emergency manager and climatologist, what keeps us awake at night for the 2022 hurricane season is the fact that people probably know how to prepare for a hurricane, but most of us don’t. don’t know.

Any hurricane survivor will share a story of how the actions they took before a storm saved their life and, in some cases, the lives of others. Our message is simple: identify your risk, have a plan and act today.

Identify your risks

For the seventh consecutive year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an above-normal hurricane season: 14 to 21 named storms, of which 4 to 6 could become major hurricanes.

Climate data continues to show that hurricanes spin faster, fueling larger storm surges, driving stronger winds and producing more severe impacts. The leading cause of hurricane-related deaths is flooding of land caused by heavy rains, often days after a storm has passed.

Increasingly, inland regions are experiencing the devastating effects of hurricanes. During Harvey, Houston was inundated with five feet of rain, causing $125 billion in damage and at least 68 tragic deaths.

During Harvey, Houston was inundated with five feet of rain, causing $125 billion in damage and at least 68 tragic deaths.

NOAA provides increasingly accurate and precise data and forecasts that inform critical decisions made by local emergency managers. For example, NOAA now provides flood and flash flood hazard information from tropical storms and hurricanes within 3-5 days, giving communities additional time to prepare for flooding. This information is critical in helping federal, state, and local emergency managers better focus their efforts to organize supplies and evacuations when needed.

FEMA, in close partnership with NOAA, encourages communities to use this knowledge as an early warning for early and rapid action. Individuals, communities and the federal government all have a role to play in preparing for this hurricane season.

have a plan

When it comes to individual hurricane preparedness and preparedness, our biggest enemy is complacency. A recent FEMA survey found that 98% of households know a disaster will affect them, but less than half have a contingency plan in place.

That’s why we urge you to develop an emergency plan based on your risk and share it with your family. Assemble a disaster supplies kit. Know your escape route. Prepare your home. Download the FEMA app to access weather alerts. Follow local authorities on social media or subscribe to alerts and listen to their advice on when and if to evacuate. Help your neighbors prepare. If you don’t know what to do, ask, read, learn. FEMA’s Ready.gov and Listo.gov (Español) have detailed instructions on how to prepare for a hurricane, including checklists.

Preparation doesn’t have to be expensive. You can set aside food and medical supplies, prepare jugs of clean water, check your radio batteries, clean your yard, secure outdoor furniture, and copy important documents you may need to pack. with you if you leave your property.

This is essential no matter where you live.

But a lot has changed since Harvey; we have more tools to anticipate storms, as well as new technologies to help people better prepare. FEMA’s new mobile app is much more accessible to people with disabilities and allows users to submit requests for assistance. We are more aware of what true mitigation looks like. We know the importance of modern building codes and are working in partnership with the White House in a nationwide initiative to build stronger structures that withstand stronger storms.

act today

What is unchanged is the importance of individual actions. Your actions matter. They make a difference and can save lives. If we sound like a broken record, that’s OK. It’s more than a friendly reminder: it’s an urgent call to action.

Remember: Just because a region hasn’t been hit by a hurricane in the past few years doesn’t mean it will be spared this time around. Historical storm patterns are changing. This is why it is essential that all communities understand and accept their risk.

FEMA faces the 2022 hurricane season armed with NOAA data and forecasts and maintains its forward-leaning posture year-round. NOAA and FEMA are ready for this hurricane season. Are you?

Deanne Criswell is the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Dr. Richard W. Spinrad is the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


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