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Be Prepared for the 2024 Hurricane Season

Toby Graham

Be Prepared for the 2024 Hurricane Season

Hurricanes are a considerable concern for many of our customers (think auto dealerships with lots full of cars and construction job sites with underdeveloped physical property.) But without much to do to fight a hurricane or any other natural disaster head-on, the best thing that safety managers can do is stay one step ahead of the next big one.

Hurricane Season Basics

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Atlantic basin includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Based on a 30-year climate period from 1991 to 2020, an average Atlantic hurricane season has 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.

Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.

The first named storm typically forms in mid to late June.

The first hurricane tends to form in early to mid-August.

And the first major hurricane forms in late August or early September.

NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts…

85% chance of an above-normal season,

10% chance of a near-normal season, and

5% chance of a below-normal season.

This means NOAA is forecasting a likely range of

17 to 25 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which

8 to 13 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including

4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).

NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

2023 Season Outlook

What does that mean for businesses in hurricane-prone areas? You need to be prepared!

Understand how storms are categorized.

According to NOAA:

A tropical cyclone is a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. They are classified as follows:

  • Tropical Depression:
    A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
  • Tropical Storm:
    A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).
  • Hurricane:
    A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.
  • Major Hurricane:
    A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Next, make sure you understand the major hazards associated with these storms

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center considers these as hazards to keep an eye out for:

  • Storm surge and storm tide
  • Heavy rainfall and inland flooding
  • High winds
  • Rip currents
  • Tornadoes

Use the 3 Ps to Prepare for Hurricane Season

There are three keys to reducing the impact of winter weather events on your workforce and facility. Let’s follow the three Ps we use for all extreme weather preparation:

  • Plan
  • Prepare
  • Practice

Check out this article to learn the nittty gritty on hurricane and tropical storm preparedness.

Safety Professionals, We’re Here to Help

Some football coach somewhere said, “The best defense is a good offense.” KPA’s here to help you build that offense using strategic tools, talent, and training to keep you prepared for whatever life throws at you next.

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Toby Graham

Toby manages the marketing communications team here at KPA. She's on a quest to help people tell clear, fun stories that their audience can relate to. She's a HUGE sugar junkie...and usually starts wandering the halls looking for cookies around 3pm daily.

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