Hurricanes have been kind enough to avoid most inland areas… SO FAR. With climate change altering the weather so drastically, it’s hard to say if that will remain true forever. For now, we can assume a fairly defined region of risk for hurricanes. Basically, you’re not at risk if you’re more than 150 miles from an ocean. If you’re coastal, keep reading.
Hurricanes can happen along any US coast, but they’re most common in the Southeast near the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s the list of DANGER STATES:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The really fun part about hurricanes is that their reign of terror can reach many miles inland, so even those who don’t live directly on the coast will need to prepare. Review historical trends to learn if hurricanes are common near your home. Hurricane season on the east coast is June 1st to November 30th, while hurricane season on the west coast is May 15th to November 30th.
If there’s never been a hurricane near your area, but you’re coastal, do some basic preparations. If there’s been a hurricane in your area in the last ten years, prepare for the worst. In the event of a hurricane, the National Weather Service will issue hurricane watches and warnings to keep you up to date. Agencies like the National Hurricane Center also track hurricane activity and give you another way to monitor prospective danger.
The NWS will issue a warning 36 hours before a hurricane makes landfall in your area, but this usually isn’t enough time to start preparations from scratch, especially if you will need to use some of that time to evacuate. Depending on the severity of the storm, you may be instructed to shelter in place or to evacuate, so be prepared for either possibility. Evacuation is always the best choice if time and circumstance allows. Give yourself more time by preparing what you can now.