Leadership

Organizations Help Communities Gear Up for Hurricane Season

By / Jun 8, 2017 (lisatop/Thinkstock)

Hurricane season kicked off June 1, and with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasting that this season may be worse than usual, groups are looking to use their influence to help businesses prepare.

Hurricane season has officially arrived, and it likely won’t be smooth sailing.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting five to nine hurricanes this year—two to four of which could be Category 3 or higher. Moreover, with data released by CoreLogic predicting that 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are potentially at risk of damage from storm surges during the 2017 hurricane season, there’s much to be done in helping businesses and communities baton down the hatches.

The good news: a flurry of organizations are aiding communities in their preparation for potential storms with emergency supplies, evacuation plans, hurricane insurance, and anything else that can help get families and businesses ready.

Shipping Supplies to Vulnerable Communities

Direct Relief, a nonprofit that delivers lifesaving medical resources worldwide, is positioning packs of emergency medicine and medical supplies in nine vulnerable U.S. states and five Caribbean and Central American countries.

The nonprofit will deliver 50 of the packs to its health centers and free clinic partners in each of the states to help augment supplies in overwhelmed medical facilities during emergencies.

“Each pack has supplies to treat 100 people for three to five days and contains a range of items, including antibiotics, pain relievers, inhalers, behavioral health medications, first-aid supplies, and medications for chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension,” according to a statement by the nonprofit.

It has delivered the packs for free since 2007, thanks to a relationship with FedEx.

Keeping Communities in the Know

To help keep communities informed on when a storm may arrive or how vulnerable they may be, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center is providing a suite of new forecast and communication tools this season.

Forecasters at the center will issue storm surge watches and warnings and advisories, watches, and warnings for disturbances that aren’t yet tropical cyclones but still threaten land with tropical storm or hurricane conditions within 48 hours.

Additionally, the center has added an experimental visualization tool so the public can easily see when damaging winds are forecast to reach their communities and a new hurricane track cone graphic to see how far hurricane- and tropical storm-force winds will extend outside of the cone, which can be hundreds of miles, according to the organization.

“Regardless of how many storms develop this year, it only takes one to disrupt our lives,” said acting FEMA Administrator Robert J. Fenton Jr., in a statement announcing NOAA’s 2017 forecast. “Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared and will make all the difference: Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go, and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens; know your evacuation route; tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts; and finally, listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.”

Juliet Van Wagenen

Juliet Van Wagenen is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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