The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported today the Atlantic hurricane season may be busier than originally forecast and the American Red Cross urges those living in areas prone to the strong storms to get ready now.
The new forecast calls for 12 to 17 named storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher, up from the May report which called for nine to 15 named storms. At least two to three of these could be major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph. The higher numbers are linked to wind patterns conducive to causing storms and warmer sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic.
STEPS TO TAKE NOW Those who may be affected should check their disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed. Emergency preparedness kits should include enough supplies for at least three days in case someone has to evacuate. Water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents should go in every kit. The Red Cross also recommends having at least two weeks worth of supplies at home. A variety of emergency preparedness kits, first aid kits and other supplies are available at www.redcrossstore.org.
Other safety steps include the following:
RED CROSS HURRICANE APP People should download the Red Cross hurricane app for smart phones which puts critical hurricane safety information at their fingertips. The app, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms, gives instant access to local, real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. It also allows people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks.
FIRST AID APP Folks should also download the Red Cross First Aid app, available for iPhone and Android devices. The app gives people information they need to handle the most common first aid emergencies.
For more information on how to prepare for the 2012 hurricane season, visit the Red Cross web site.