Hurricane season begins in June but we typically don’t see much activity until well into August. And sure enough, here we are. According to the Post & Courier’s Bo Petersen, “Forecasters Monday expected a tropical depression in the Florida Straits to become a tropical storm overnight, cross northern Florida west of Jacksonville on Thursday about 7 p.m., and pass to the southeast of Charleston Friday morning. It could bring heavy rain and some coastal winds, but the worst should stay offshore”. This is good news. For the moment anyway. In August we are effected by the African monsoons which create tropical disturbances that are the actual “seeds” of hurricanes. September is peak time for hurricanes and by November we are usually out of any major threat. What makes this hurricane season a bit more worrisome is the sea surface temperature.It¬†remains abnormally warm, much like last year. This sets the stage for limited reaction time to a storm that is able to develop quickly offshore.

Hurricane safety tips:

The biggest one is to BE PREPARED before the hurricane is developing. In June, make sure you check your battery supply, flashlights, first aid kit and non-perishable food and bottled water. Know your evacuation route and do a test drive.

When a hurricane warning has been issued, leave low lying areas, protect windows with plywood or storm shutters. Secure outside objects. Pay attention to weather reports on the radio, internet and TV. If you are not issued an evacuation and/or choose not to leave, have a secure room available. However, if you are issued an evacuation you should do so immediately!

If you find yourself present during a hurricane, stay away from windows and stay in a secure room. Have supplies on hand. If the eye of the storm moves over your area, stay put. Many people think the storm has subsided but it will actually resume very soon after the eye passes over. Make sure that all is definitely clear outside and the storm has passed before going outside. Stay away from downed power lines. Drink bottled water until officials say that it is safe to drink tap water.

Let’s hope for a calm and uneventful hurricane season!