Hurricane season 2023 has blown in and cities across the U.S. are implementing their hurricane preparedness techniques. The annual visits from hurricanes and tropical storms are an unfortunate part of the climate for many areas of the country, and although they may not be a welcome visitor, there are many things that can be done to stay informed of potential significant damage from storm surges, wind, currents and flooding.
To stay safe when hurricane season arrives each year, it’s important to plan ahead and keep up with the latest information. Let’s explore some key statistics, helpful tips and essential techniques to ensure our heads remain above water each year.
What is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is a large and powerful tropical cyclone characterized by strong winds, heavy rainfall and a well-defined eye in the center. Hurricanes can cause significant damage due to storm surge, wind and flooding.
Hurricanes form over warm ocean waters when atmospheric conditions are favorable, including low wind shear and high humidity. They develop from tropical disturbances that gain strength and eventually form a closed circulation with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater.
Although often used in the same breath, a hurricane and tropical storm aren’t one and the same. A tropical storm is classified when wind speeds reach about 39 mph, while a hurricane is above 74 mph. Of course, both can cause profound damage to a community, a hurricane is far more dangerous. A hurricane can span 300 miles in width – although many are considerably smaller.
Hurricane Season in the U.S.
Hurricane season affects different areas of the country at different times each year. The “official” hurricane seasons as outlined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are laid out as follows:
- Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season: May 15 – Nov. 30
- Atlantic Hurricane Season: June 1 – Nov. 30
- Central Pacific Hurricane Season: June 1 – Nov. 30
Each year, an average of 10 tropical storms develop in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Although most of these remain in the ocean, six will make landfall and become a hurricane (on average).
How DIRECTV Helps
Beyond simply providing access to the local and news channels that will keep you informed when a hurricane is approaching, DIRECTV also provides features in-home (and on the go) to ensure access to vital information in real-time.
Severe Weather Mix
In the past, DIRECTV has provided customers with even more timely news and resources with News Mix Channels and a dedicated Severe Weather Mix. This keeps people located in a hurricane-risk area apprised with the latest information from numerous news sources – all in one place. Read about hurricane season 2022, when DIRECTV helped during Hurricane Ian.
SignalSaver (for satellite connected customers)
If your satellite signal is interrupted for any reason, including due to hurricanes and tropical storms, you’ll immediately see a pop-up over your connected set-top box prompting you to continue watching.
After a few seconds of signal calibration, and with the proper high-speed Internet connection, customers can enable SignalSaver to still enjoy up to an HD quality viewing experience (720p). Learn more about SignalSaver.
DIRECTV via Internet
Customers who connect with DIRECTV via Internet will be able to use to their service even during a storm (when internet is available), ensuring access to important programming, news and updates.
All DIRECTV customer, regardless of how they connect to their service, have access to the DIRECTV App. In a storm, customers can watch programming from various devices – including connected smart phones – from anywhere, which can be essential in a natural disaster. Get the DIRECTV App now.
Information Technology Disaster Resource Center
DIRECTV partners with Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), who collects technology resources to fulfill their mission of Connecting Communities in Crisis. ITDRC maintains a cache of equipment such as DIRECTV boxes, communication equipment and technology assets to meet the short – and long-term needs of a communities after a disaster. The ITDRC Operations Director recently sent DIRECTV a note stating, “While some would say TV programming is ‘nice to have’, I can assure you, [DIRECTV] equipment and services can be a lifesaving tool in the aftermath of a disaster – when traditional communications channels are down.”
Hurricane Preparedness Tips
It’s not always fun to think about natural disasters but preparing is the best line of defense against hurricanes. To avoid as much damage as possible during hurricane season is by using careful preparation. Explore these tips:
Know Your Risk
Chances are, that if you live in a region that is susceptible to hurricanes, you’re already aware of the risks, concerns and precautions. But if you’re a traveler or are relocating, it’s important to assess the risks of the area. It’s also important to note that hurricanes aren’t only a coastal problem. Inland areas can also be affected by rain, wind, tornadoes and flooding when a tropical storm makes landfall.
Make an Emergency Plan
Your emergency plan should include how to prepare your home for an incoming storm. Know your vulnerabilities, determine your escape plan and stockpile the essentials in case you must hunker down. Ensure everyone in your household understands the plan and include all your usual locations in the process (think daycare, work, church or anywhere else you frequent). Once established, update on a regular basis to make sure it applies to any lifestyle changes.
Know your Evacuation Zone
If you live in an evacuation zone, be prepared to evacuate quickly when a hurricane is imminent (and you’ve been advised to leave). Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, practice evacuation procedures with your household and pets, and identify suitable accommodation options.
Prepare Your Home
Take preventive measures such as decluttering drains and gutters, bringing in outdoor furniture, and consider installing hurricane shutters. Also make sure you have integral items that are ready for either a quick evacuation or a long stay.
Get Tech Ready: Charge your cell phone and any other important devices when in a tropical storm warning and consider purchasing backup charging devices for your electronics.
Help Your Neighborhood: Check on your neighbors, especially seniors or disabled individuals who may require extra help.
Consider Special Needs: If you or anyone in your household has a disability, identify whether additional assistance may be needed during an emergency.
Gather Supplies: Prepare a sufficient supply of essential items for your household, including medications, disinfectant supplies, hygiene items, nonperishable food, water and pet necessities. Keep these supplies in a readily accessible “go bag” and in a secure area of your home, as you may not have access to them for days or even weeks after a hurricane.
Follow Emergency Instructions
Get hurricane updates and the latest recommendations and safety measures provided by local emergency officials, as they work closely with state, local, tribal and territorial agencies to ensure community safety.
Review Important Documents
Keep your insurance policies and personal documents up to date. Make copies and store them in a secure, password-protected digital space.
Recognize Warnings and Alerts
Stay informed by having multiple ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app to receive real-time hurricane updates and alerts from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and stay aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign-up.
As hurricane season 2023 continues, it is crucial to prioritize preparedness and stay informed to ensure the safety and well-being of ourselves and our communities. By following the recommended tips and guidelines, you can be better equipped to handle the potential risks associated with hurricanes. And those with DIRECTV can stay close to their area networks, even when bad weather strikes. Get DIRECTV today.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is hurricane season?
Hurricane season typically starts on June 1 and ends on November 30.
What is hurricane season?
Hurricane season refers to the period during which tropical cyclones, known as hurricanes or tropical storms, are most likely to form in a given region.
Where is the hurricane?
The location of a hurricane can vary as they form and move across the ocean. It is essential to stay updated with the latest information from reliable sources such as the National Hurricane Center and local weather agencies.
What causes hurricanes?
Hurricanes are primarily caused by a combination of warm ocean temperatures, moisture, and favorable atmospheric conditions. These factors contribute to the formation and intensification of tropical cyclones into powerful hurricanes.
How can I prepare for a hurricane?
Beyond the tips provided in this article, people in regions affected by hurricanes can visit the NOAA Hurricane official website: https://www.noaa.gov/hurricane-prep to find even more preparedness techniques.
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