RICHMOND, Va. --Prepare for an “above-average” hurricane season. That's the message Virginia leaders have for you as the six-month-long hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin begins Wednesday.
Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predicted above-average hurricane activity this year, which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.
This year, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes. That also includes the potential for three to six major hurricanes to form.
NOAA stated on its website that they provide these ranges with a 70% confidence.
Even storms that start in the lower Atlantic or Gulf States have the potential to come north and cause significant damage, according to a press release.
Katie Carter, regional communications and outreach coordinator with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said this is why they encourage all Virginians to prepare.
“It's always good to know that your local first responders, the government — they're going to be here for you to help you out in an emergency,” she said. “But also remember, if it's a devastating hurricane, they're going to be responding to thousands of other people. There will likely be power outages, downed trees, flooding, and there are a number of reasons that could prevent first responders from getting to you once the disaster happens.”
Carter encouraged families to prepare an emergency kit well in advance of any storm. That includes a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable foods, a generator, and cash to name a few items.
Also, she highlighted that flood insurance takes 30 days to become active. If you apply for flood insurance days before an impending storm, then you likely will be uncovered.
Every year, Virginia’s governor speaks on the first day of hurricane season.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin is scheduled to appear alongside other state leaders and administrators with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management at 9 a.m. for a press conference.
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