Slow Hurricane Season Expected, But Experts Warn Coastal Residents to Stay Prepared

May 28, 2015

The 2015 hurricane season begins Monday, June 1. And although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—or NOAA—predicts a slower season than usual, that doesn’t mean coastal residents can let down their guard.

Though estimates are low for this hurricane season, those numbers do not reflect the potential impact to the region. That’s according to Michael Colby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

He says coastal residents should still prepare for hazards brought on by severe storms. Colby says the primary cause of injury during the hurricane season isn’t the ocean. Rather, the real danger is further inland: 

"Torrents of currents, culverts, ditches, rivers, all become dangerous in that you have flowing water that picks up speed, and these are where the deaths occur. Water weighs eight pounds a gallon. Can you imagine hundreds of gallons running in a swift current? It’s quite a power. Most deaths at landfall are from inland flooding."

According to NOAA, it takes just six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult. As little as a foot of water can carry away a car. When confronted with a flooded roadway, NOAA advises the public to “turn around, don’t drown.”

Further Tips on Hurricane Preparedness from Ready NC: 

Make a plan, containing: 
- phone numbers of a pre-assigned contact person for family members to call
- list of where to find information on shelters (television, radio, Ready NC website, Ready NC mobile app)
- how to be safe if you stay in your home during an emergency
- what to do with your pets
- thoughts about any older adults or those with functional needs in the home 

Put together an emergency kit, containing: 
- water (one gallon per person per day for 3-7 days) 
- food (non-perishable and canned food supply for 3-7 days) 
- battery-powered radio / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio with extra batteries 
- cell phone with charger
- first aid kid and first aid book
- flashlight and extra batteries
- manual can opener for food
- anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- wrench or pliers to turn off water
- blanket or sleeping bag (one per person) 
- prescription medications and glasses
- change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
- extra house and car keys 
- important documents (insurance policies, copy of driver's license, Social Security card, bank account records)
- cash and change
- fire extinguisher
- books, cards, or games

Follow the links below for more information on hurricane preparedness and the 2015 hurricane season outlook: 

Ready NC

How to Protect Your Home from Hurricane Damage

NOAA's 2015 Hurricane Season Predictions