The week of May 9th – 15th has been declared National Hurricane Preparedness Week! With hurricane season rapidly approaching, there is no better time to review the most current information about the upcoming season and ensure that your facility is fully prepared for potential storms.
Researchers from Colorado State University recently released their annual hurricane forecast, and are predicting an “above-average” 2021 season with an anticipated 17 named storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expected to release their annual hurricane forecast in the coming weeks, and in the meantime you can find additional resources at the National Hurricane Center website, including up-to-date information on storms throughout the season and interactive tracking maps.
No matter the predictions for the 2021 season, any one storm could have a tremendous impact on your facility and your animals. The record-breaking 2020 season, with an unprecedented 30 named storms and 12 landfalling storms, serves as a reminder of the importance of preparing for all scenarios and beginning your preparations early. This means reaching out to local emergency management and building relationships with necessary partners now, before a storm hits. Creating these partnerships will help you to learn what kinds of resources partners have have available and how you can request them.
As we continue to navigate life in a pandemic, it is important to remember that your facility’s preparations for this year’s hurricane season may look different than preparations in the past. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compiled a number of resources to help you plan for hurricane season in the midst of COVID-19, including Hurricanes and COVID-19 and Public Disaster Shelters & COVID-19.