The Atlantic tropical storm season runs officially from June 1 to November 30. But nature doesn’t always follow the official rules, as shown by the occurrence of this year’s first Atlantic tropical storm—Hurricane Alex—in the mid-Atlantic in January 2016. (For more on Alex, see the National Hurricane Center’s 2016 Atlantic tropical storm archive, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2016/ALEX.shtml.)
Alex may have caught you by surprise, but mid-May is a good time to get ready for the bulk of the coming Atlantic tropical storm season. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has designated May 15-21, 2016, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The agency has identified seven areas of preparedness, one for each day of the week: Determine your risk; Develop and evacuation plan; Secure an insurance check-up; Assemble disaster supplies; Strengthen your home; Identify your trusted sources of information for a hurricane event; and Complete your written hurricane plan. Information on these areas and lots of other information resources are available online at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html.