Experts say that residents should prepare for a near-normal hurricane season this year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts up to 13 named storms, of which six will become hurricanes, and at least two are expected to be major hurricanes.
“We all need to remind ourselves that predictions are just predictions,” Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Spokesman Scott DeVico said. “We are always planning and preparing. And we certainly do not base our level of preparation on the predictions.”
Last year’s predictions called for an above average year, however, it ended up being an average year, according to DeVico.
New England’s recent hurricanes Irene and Sandy have taught Connecticut residents to be more prepared. In 2011, Tropical Storm Irene traveled up the east coast and lasted about six days at the end of August. It became a hurricane well before hitting Connecticut and weakened as it came across New England.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy moved through the Atlantic and eventually across New England. According to a report by the National Hurricane Center, Sandy was responsible for 72 deaths. Five of those were in Connecticut.
Last year’s hurricane season was well below average. Although the season had 14 storms, only two became hurricanes. According to the National Hurricane Center Annual Summary, the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season was the quietest season in the past two decades.
But that’s no reason for Connecticut residents to let their guard down.
DeVico reminds residents that “it only takes one storm to come up the coast and impact the state, and devastating consequences. We need all residents to be our partners in emergency management and be prepared.”
“Every home should have a basic emergency plan that can be used for any emergency,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a press release. “I urge residents to know what potential risks your community and neighborhood may face, such as storm surge, flooding, road or bridge closures.”
Malloy advises that a hurricane season preparation kit contain the following items:
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said there are three tips to be prepared: get a kit, make a plan, and stay informed.
Schriro recommends residents “carefully monitor weather reports and promptly follow instructions from public safety officials if a storm approaches.”
DeVico says there will be a statewide emergency preparedness exercise at the end of June. The drill will be conducted at the governor’s direction and it will simulate a hurricane impacting the state. Last year, the state simulated an ice storm.
The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs until November 30.