Checking out the top stories on television, radio and the internet, we see many natural disasters occurring in many parts of the country. Fires are burning in Colorado and South Dakota. A record heat wave is sweeping the eastern seaboard from North Carolina to New Jersey. Throw in a few earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and tsunamis and we have very good reasons to prepare ourselves for the worst.
Kiplinger.com recently published a list if the 10 States most at risk of disaster. In it, they ranked the states that had suffered the biggest property losses from disasters over the past decade (2002-2011). Topping the list were Louisiana ($32.2 billion), Florida ($31.4 billion) and Texas ($24.9 billion). Mississippi was in 4th place with $15 billion in estimated insured property damage. Rounding out the top 10 were Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Illinois, all with between $5-8 billion dollars. It should come as no surprise that most of these states are located in Tornado Alley and that most of the damage was caused by tornadoes or hurricanes.
Hurricane season usually runs from the beginning of June to the end of November. At the beginning of this season, NOAA issued the following statement. “Conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favor a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this season, NOAA announced today from Miami at its Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, and home to the Hurricane Research Division.” But, don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. “NOAA’s outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. “But regardless of the outlook, it’s vital for anyone living or vacationing in hurricane-prone locations to be prepared. We have a stark reminder this year with the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.” Hurricane Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992 and was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.
Preparedness is the key to survival, so do everything you can to prepare for any type of emergency before it happens. Make sure your emergency survival kit is complete and up to date. Augment your emergency supplies with a hurricane kit and and follow the steps in your hurricane preparedness guide and you will have prepared for the worst.