In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Centeris forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.
For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
This week, May 26 – June 1, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA is offering hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator at www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/.
From The Hartford: Business Continuity Management: Before the Hurricane
At the beginning of the hurricane season:
• Establish a Business Continuity Management (BCM) Plan that takes prevention, emergency response and disaster recovery into consideration. If a BCM is already in place, review and update it as needed for hurricane readiness.
• Designate a BCM coordinator and a BCM team. Assign responsibility to specific employees for advance arrangements to initiate the plan.
• Brace outside storage tanks and outer structures.
• Inspect all battery powered equipment and backup power.
• Inspect sewers and drains.
• Check all drainage pumps.
• Inspect the roof and flashing for serviceability.
• Check the landscaping; prune dead branches.
• Have a supply of plastic or tarpaulins on hand to cover water-sensitive equipment
At the approach of the hurricane:
• Inspect roof drains and piping; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
• Check floor drains and sumps; are they clear of debris and fully functional?
• Check all storm water catch basins and grates to be sure they are clear of debris.
• Be sure that roof flashing is secure.
• Make sure that doors and windows will remain latched.
• Protect windows from flying debris.
• Walk the grounds; move objects inside that could become missiles in high winds.
• Anchor any equipment stored outside that could be moved by high winds.
• Move supplies stored outside to inside storage.
• Assemble supplies for the emergency crews and for emergency repairs.
• Protect vital records against flooding and wind.
• Secure backup records.
• Inspect fire protection equipment.
• Top off fuel in the emergency generators; test run.
• Evacuate non-essential personnel.
• Have remaining personnel take shelter.
• Check the supply and serviceability of sandbags
Business Continuity Management: During the Hurricane
• Patrol the facility continuously, as long as it is safe to do so.
• Check for any damage to the structure.
• Check for leaks and fire systems impairment.
• Complete any emergency repairs that are possible and safe to perform.
• Shut off any valves where pipes have been broken.
• Watch for flooding. Use sandbags when necessary.
• Watch for reverse winds after the eye of the storm has passed. They will affect different areas and perhaps break trees that had been blown in the other direction
Business Continuity Management: After the Hurricane
• Conduct a roll call of all personnel on the premises.
• Assess the damage.
• Check for safety hazards (downed trees, branches, downed power wires, leaking gas, blocked roof drains, displaced reptiles).
• Make temporary repairs to protect the structure and supplies.
• Photograph and document any damage.
• Begin salvage operations.