What to do to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What to do to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season

The National Hurricane Center is prediction a below average hurricane season for 2017. (Source: NOAA) The National Hurricane Center is prediction a below average hurricane season for 2017. (Source: NOAA)
Having a three day food and water supply is a good way to plan for a potential tropical storm. (Source: NOAA) Having a three day food and water supply is a good way to plan for a potential tropical storm. (Source: NOAA)
First aid kits are good to have around the house during severe weather season as well as hurricane season. (Source: WALB) First aid kits are good to have around the house during severe weather season as well as hurricane season. (Source: WALB)
First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman stresses the importance of being prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. (Source: WALB) First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman stresses the importance of being prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Now that we've reached the end of peak severe weather season, that means hurricane season is just around the corner. 

Meteorologist Andrew Gorton gives us a few tips on how to prepare before a storm hits. 

Although hurricane season doesn't kick off for another few weeks, it is never too early to prepare.

The official hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts until November 30th.

The National Weather Service has deemed this week, "Hurricane Preparedness Week" to bring attention to actions you and your family can take now that will save you time and stress if a tropical storm hits South Georgia this season.

South Georgia felt the impacts of tropical storms twice last year with Hermine and Matthew, which brought heavy rain and strong wind to the area.

Thankfully, hurricanes usually weaken as they progress further inland, but they can still cause significant damage.

"We'll see some wind, sometimes up to hurricane force. Sometimes there are tornadoes associated with a land falling hurricane or tropical storm," said First Alert Meteorologist Chris Zelman.

With the possibility of hurricane force wind (over 73 miles per hour), it is important to have a hurricane preparedness kit.

Bottled water, nonperishable food, a first aid kit and a generator are all important in case a tropical storm hits South Georgia. 

"Just like January second when we had the wind event here in Albany, we had no power for two to three weeks, so prepare for that," said Zelman.

In addition to these threats, tropical systems can produce large amounts of rainfall which can lead to severe flooding.

Flooding is the leading cause for death and injuries during a tropical storm, but that danger can be easily avoided.

"You never know how high the water is when you are traveling through it. It looks like it could be two inches, but in essence it could be two feet, and that's enough to move your car away," said Zelman.

Now is the time to call your insurance company to make sure you are covered if your home is flooded or needs repairs after a storm.

Even though the National Hurricane Center is predicting a less active season, the Atlantic has already seen one named storm, Arlene. 

This Tropical Storm stayed in the Atlantic Ocean, but the United States might remain as lucky throughout the season.

"I would expect about an average year, but we have been without a major land falling hurricane since Wilma, that was in 2005. So we are due a major hurricane somewhere along the Gulf or the Atlantic coastline," said Zelman.

It's never too early to talk with your family about your severe weather plan.

Our WALB Weather app and NOAA weather radios are great tools to use to stay on top of the latest developments in the tropics.

Usually people are evacuating to South Georgia during hurricanes, but to see which roads are evacuation routes in Georgia, click HERE.

If you want to learn even more about hurricane preparedness, click HERE.

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