Businesses and residents are at higher risk this season because of an increased threat from hurricanes.
We’re getting fair warning as we enter the 2010 hurricane season, and the old cliché could never be more true: Preparing now can help you to avoid or minimize the potential damage to your business or home.
According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
NOAA’s most recent prediction warns of an extremely active 2010 hurricane season.
“If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared.”
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:
· 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
· 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
· 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph).
These predictions exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes, according to NOAA.
The larger picture in all of this is that even if you don’t live in a part of the country that where hurricanes strike, this is a good time to examine disaster plans both for your home and business.
The print March 2009 issue of HVACR Distribution Business magazine focused its entire issue on disaster planning.
Most states have special programs or policies dealing with natural disasters. This is a good time to check them out before you might really need the help.
In my home state, New Jersey, NJ Alert (www.njalert.gov) is a free, voluntary and confidential emergency alerting system that allows State Emergency Management officials to send e-mail or text messages to cell phones and other email enabled devices during an emergency event.
The wild card in the hurricane guessing game this season is the Gulf Coast oil spill. The oil is spreading and could create further property and environmental damage should this season be as troublesome as predicted.
"A hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico this year would be devastating," according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor quoting Qin Chen, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
For tips on disaster supply kits and storm recovery, visit http://www.allriskinc.com/disaster-tips.php.
Dean Ragone is president of Somerdale, N.J.-based allRisk Property Damage Experts and a 25-year veteran of the disaster planning industry. Contact him at 877-247-5252, [email protected] or visit www.allrisk.com.