It’s getting close to mid-July.
Heck, you guys know how time flies. Soon, we will flip the calendar from July to August and then we will send the kids back to school.
For most, that gradual change marks the end of summer and the earliest beginnings of what will be a long, slow transition to fall.
But in terms of local weather, that change means that we’re also entering the peak months of Hurricane Season.
Meteorologists always say that early-August through early-October are the prime months for tropical activity in the Atlantic storm season.
So knowing that we are just a few weeks away from getting to that point in the calendar, now would likely be a good time for you and your family to dust up on your hurricane plan and get ready in case the storm season gets active locally.
Just look at what’s going on around the tropics right now as proof that the best time for preparation is the present.
At press-time on Monday afternoon, meteorologists were following an upper disturbance that originated near Memphis that dipped into the Gulf of Mexico.
What happens with that area by the time this newspaper reaches your hands on Wednesday remained unknown on Monday, but several computer models developed it into a tropical depression or even a tropical storm.
Some took it toward the area, which could take us into a wet pattern throughout the week.
Will this be a major nuisance?
Nah, it’s not likely. The computer models say that conditions in the Gulf are somewhat favorable for minimal development, but because the storm is forming so close to land, it likely will not have the time to develop into anything more than a small hurricane — if it even gets to that size.
But let this small (and maybe even non-existent) threat be your warning to get ready, because the following few weeks will likely come with other storms that may approach the Gulf.
So don’t be blindsided if something knocks on our doorsteps and forces folks in Louisiana to take immediate action.
Take the proper precautions right now and get ready for the peak weeks of the season which lie ahead.
Now is the time to map out an evacuation route if your family plans to leave during a natural disaster.
When making this plan, be sure to map out destinations in all directions — north, west and east. This is, of course, because all storms are different. Depending on the direction in which the storm is approaching, your evacuation route will be different.
If it’s approaching from the East, going to Florida will not be as good an idea. If approaching from the West, going to Houston will not be as favorable. So don’t commit to just one place in your plan. Find hotels and/or family members all around the Southeast to make sure that you’re not evacuating into a place that’s receiving effects from the storm, as well. If unsure of the storm’s path, a wise decision would be to head north. Even if a storm hits Louisiana head-on, by the time it would reach extreme northern Louisiana or southern Arkansas, the strength of the storm would be lessened and you and your loved ones would be definitively be safe from the storm surge and the most dangerous parts of the weather event.
Having destinations across the Gulf Coast covers all bases, and it will just give you peace of mind – something that is just as important as the actual plan itself.
If you feel your home space is safe and can withstand both surge and winds, you may be inclined to ride out weather events, which also requires a plan of action. If planning to stay during a storm event, it’s time to stock up on emergency necessities like water, canned meats, Band-Aids and all of the other essentials. You guys know the drill. Everyone knows what is needed in hurricane situations. Unfortunately, we’ve had to do all of these things many, many times before.
But because of our experience in crisis, we know that it’s better to shop early, because history shows that there’s nothing worse than being stuck in line at the store when the hurricane is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and time is short.
So let’s just plan ahead and keep an eye on what’s going on in the tropics.
Of course, we all hope that the plans are wasted and that Louisiana stays safe and hurricane-free for the remainder of the 2019 season.
But we also know that there’s no way to promise that.
It’s better to have a plan that’s never used than to not have a plan at all.
And now is the time to get ready.
Better to be safe than sorry. •