The official start of the 2012 hurricane season is June 1. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it will be near-normal with nine to 15 named storms. Of these storms, four to eight could strengthen to a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher, with as many as three becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. Hurricane season ends on November 30.
The American Red Cross wants people to be prepared - to build a kit, make a plan and be informed. “Hurricanes are dangerous storms. Getting prepared ahead of time is the best way to be ready for any emergency or weather disaster,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services.“ The Red Cross is ready and we want people to know it’s important for them to be prepared too.”
It’s also worth noting that two named tropical storms in the Atlantic – Beryl and Alberto - have already brought heavy rains to areas along the East coast.
To make planning easier, the Red Cross has a free iPhone app that gives the location of all open Red Cross shelters. To download the app, users can visit the Apple store and search “American Red Cross shelters.” For those without an iPhone, the same shelter information also appears on the Red Cross website. Both are refreshed with updated information every 30 minutes.
In addition, the Red Cross Safe and Well website now allows users to update their Facebook and Twitter status when they register on the site. Safe and Well is a secure way to let your loved ones know where you are going during a hurricane evacuation or that you are “okay” in the aftermath of a disaster.
HURRICANE FAST FACTS