This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week. It started Sunday May 24th and goes through Saturday May 30th. There is a terrific web site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml. The goal of the web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take action to save lives. Each day emphasizes a different topic. For example, Sunday – hurricane history; Monday – storm surge; Tuesday – high winds; Wednesday – inland flooding; Thursday – the forecast process; Friday – preparedness; Saturday – take action.
I had the privilege of helping in the development of this web site while I was working at the National Hurricane Center (NHC). It makes good sense to highlight hurricane preparedness right before the start of the season. There are some hurricane related activities going on this week. For example, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management along with emergency managers at the county level will be conducting a Florida Hurricane Exercise later in the week. The Hurricane Survival Initiative will release results from a poll likely showing that a large percentage of people living in hurricane vulnerable areas are still not prepared. Miami-Dade County is sponsoring a Hurricane Expo this weekend. These are all worthy activities. But they will be for nothing unless individuals take that personal responsibility to make their own preparedness plans.
Unfortunately, there is not much visibility given to this Hurricane Preparedness Week web site. Even on the NHC web site, one has to scroll well down the page and know to click on Hurricane Preparedness. I suggest bookmarking this site and referring to it often as you develop your hurricane plan.