As we approach the peak of hurricane season, which began on June 1, NOAA has changed its earlier predictions. While they still expect this year to be above normal, it is expected that La Nina will be responsible for slightly reducing the number that was expected in the original forecast.
This year’s Atlantic season is expected to spawn 13 to 19 tropical storms, with 6 to 9 actually developing into hurricanes. This sounds similar to last year when there were 19 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes.
This year’s strongest storm is Hurricane Henriette in the Pacific, a Category 1 at the time of this writing. It is expected to strengthen as it approaches Hawaii. So far the Pacific has seen 8 tropical storms with 4 developing into hurricanes. The Atlantic has seen 4 tropical storms and no hurricanes – yet.
Are you prepared for hurricane season this year? Be sure to pay attention to the forecast and evacuate if directed to do so. Also, make sure you have the right supplies with a home survival kit that fits the size of your family and a hurricane kit to have the right tools to protect your home and family.
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You probably don’t need anyone to tell you, winter is here. This time of year can be dangerous, so it is a good idea to add a few extra items to your emergency kit.
- Rock salt or something similar should be kept on hand to melt icy walkways and prevent falls.
- Keep cat litter or sand in your vehicle to aid with traction if you get stuck.
- Keep a shovel and ice scraper in your vehicle.
- Keep extra clothing and blanket in your vehicle.
- Be sure you add a tow rope, jumper cables and emergency flares to your vehicle roadside kit.
FEMA recommends that you check these things on your car:
- Ensure antifreeze levels are sufficient to avoid freezing.
- Be sure your battery and ignition system is in top condition and battery terminals should be clean.
- Check brakes for wear and fluid levels.
- Check your exhaust system for leaks and crimped pipes and repair or replace as necessary.
- Replace your fuel and air filters and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Ensure your heater and defroster work properly.
- Check to be sure all lights, including hazard lights, are working properly.
- Check your vehicle’s oil level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well.
- Ensure your thermostat works properly.
- Ensure your windshield wiper equipment works properly and maintain proper washer fluid level. Consider using a washer fluid that is also a deicer.
- Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some areas require chains or snow tires with studs.
Most of these things may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t think of them until it is too late. Make sure your car is ready for a winter emergency and feel safer this winter. Get a car disaster kit for each vehicle you own.
Remember, if the weather is bad, it is better to stay home than risk a disaster while traveling.
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