NOAA: Below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season is likely this year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.

For the hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 – November 30, NOAA is predicting a 70% likelihood of 6 to 11 named storms (with winds 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (with winds of 74 mph or higher), including 0 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher, with winds of 111 mph or higher).

The outlook calls for a 70% chance of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 20% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of an above-normal season. The seasonal average for the Atlantic is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The NOAA outlook includes Tropical Storm Ana, which formed earlier this month. Pre-season development is not an indicator of the overall season.

NOAA also issued its outlook for the Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific basins. For the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s 2015 outlook is for a 70% chance of an above-normal hurricane season. That outlook calls for a 70% probability of 15–22 named storms, of which 7–12 are expected to become hurricanes, including 5–8 major hurricanes. For the Central Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s outlook is for a 70% chance of an above-normal season with 5–8 tropical cyclones likely.

“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall in your community to significantly disrupt your life,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich. “Everyone should take action now to prepare themselves and their families for hurricanes and powerful storms. Develop a family communications plan, build an emergency supply kit for your home, and take time to learn evacuation routes for your area. Knowing what to do ahead of time can literally save your life and help you bounce back stronger and faster should disaster strike in your area.”

With the hurricane season officially starting next week, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

Click here for the full article.

Business Continuity Training

Post by Howard Pierpont, International Association for Disaster Preparedness and Response

Disasters happen all the time. The Federal government declares on average one disaster per week. The reality is most disasters do not have national focus. Often an issue can be localized to a community, a neighborhood, or a single facility. Every disaster is personal when it occurs inside your organization. A ruptured pipe, overflowing faucet, wide temperature fluctuations, and external factors can impact the organization.

Recently, I was invited to participate in a day-long, interactive workshop in Caguas, Puerto Rico, to teach how to successfully engage small businesses so they are better prepared for future disasters and crises. The hands-on workshop covered the basics of how to deliver business continuity training to the local community. The audience included commercial as well as not-for-profit organizations.

I invite you to review the presentations included here.

Additional websites with great reference material include:
Open For Business
Ready.gov
US Small Business Administration (SBA), which also act as one of the financial clearinghouses for FEMA
Prepare My Business.org, a sponsored website from the SBA
The Ready Rating program from the American Red Cross
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, funded by insurance companies
The Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program – PS-Prep™ & Small Business Preparedness (last updated 8/6/2014)
FEMA Program Resources (last updated 8/7/2014)

Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

Howard Pierpont
Board Chair, DERA, International Association for Disaster Preparedness and Response
970-397-5526