If you’re like me, you are NOT ready for hurricane season. As I write this, there is snow on the ground in New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota (as well as the usual higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains, of course). I haven’t yet flipped the home HVAC system from heat to cool and, even today, I have my jacket with me. Here on the Gulf Coast, there’s usually six to eight weeks of warm-up — literally, warm up — before mid-May, and although mid-May is still a few weeks away, it just feels like the hurricane season is far, far away.
Except it’s not.
If you consider that three times in the last seven years there has been a tropical system in the Atlantic Basin that formed prior to the first day of hurricane season (June 1), we’re very close to the window of “anything can happen.” Those years, by the way, were 2012 (5/19), 2009 (5/28) and 2008 (5/31).
Worse, I’m supposed to be more on-the-ball than I am. Each spring ImpactWeather sends a team of senior meteorologists out to visit our clients and present the Employee Hurricane Preparedness Presentation (EHPP) and I’m on that team. Part of my presentation includes me saying, “I begin my preparedness preparations in January and February.” You know, lead by example and all that. Yet, I have yet to begin. Part of that is that my supplies are in very good shape — I’ve been doing this for years, I know what I’m doing and I know it won’t take too much to bring me up to where I need to be. But a big part of it is that it’s still cold out! How does one wrap a brain around hurricane preparedness when it’s still cold?
One of the major lead-ups to the hurricane season for those of us at ImpactWeather is our annual Hurricane Symposium (www.hurricanesymposium.com). This year it’s on May 15 — still a month away, yet I’ve got a million other things to do and I’m out of the country for a week between now and then. What I’d really like to do is move the start of hurricane season to August. August of 2020. That would be great.
Are you like me? If yes, that can be both good and bad. It can be good because if you are like me then you take your hurricane prep seriously and you’re very close to where you’d ideally like to be. That’s good. But if you’re like me, that also means you have a million things to do and the last thing you want to think about is prepping for a catastrophic storm. That’s bad.
Yet you have to do it. Whether the forecast calls for a busy season or a quiet one, we all have to prepare for the one storm that could change our lives. Prepared or not, storms have a way of turning things seriously upside down and it’s much better to be prepared than the alternative. And if you have a company to protect and employees to look after, then it’s even more imperative that you not postpone your preparedness.
Of course, if you have professional interests to look after during the hurricane season, then our 25th Annual Hurricane Symposium is the place to be and an ideal way to ensure you’re on the right track for the coming season. The link above will take you to the symposium’s website, or you can click here to see our line-up of expert speakers who represent a broad slice of both the onshore and offshore industries, as well as meteorology and the science of hurricanes. Click on either of the links and it’s easy to register.
In just a couple of weeks it will start to feel like hurricane season, but if this year is like 2012 that means we could then only be a couple of weeks away from our first Atlantic storm. We have two more weeks left in April…let’s use this time wisely so that when the hurricane season jumps up and says, “I’m here!” we won’t be surprised. Even better, we’ll be ready.
Contact me if you’d like more information on our EHPP. Each presentation is about 50-55 minutes and covers topics such as building an emergency kit, what to do in power outages, personal safety in a disaster area and more.