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Hurricanes

 

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.  Information sourced from Ready.gov/Hurricanes

Hurricane Basics

What

 

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.

Where

 

Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific. A significant per cent of fatalities occur outside of landfall counties with causes due to inland flooding.

When

 

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

Basic Preparedness Tips

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.

  • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate

  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.

  • Make a family emergency communication plan.

  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

Preparing Your Home

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.

  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.

  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.  

Hurricane Watch

 

Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.

Steps to take:

Hurricane Warning

 

Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.

Steps to take:

  • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.

  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.

  • Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.

Shareables

Hurricanes Data: NHC Archives 1970-Present
 
Jefferson County has been hit directly:

 

One hurricane

•H Opal (1995)

 

Two Tropical Storms

•H Juan (1985)

•H Ivan (2004)

 

and Three Tropical Depressions

•H Edith (1971)

•H Danny (1997)

•TS Bill (2003)

Jefferson County has had a near miss (eye hit within 50 nm)

 

Tropical Storms

•TS Alberto (1994)

Tropical Depressions

•H Blake (1972)

•H Cindy (2005)

•TS Arlene (2005)

•TS Fay (2008)  

•Nate (2017)

Other Storms Impacts

In addition to those storms, Jeffco has been impacted by a multitude of other systems.  Not only do we often get the fringe weather effects of tropical systems that pass anywhere in the southeast region, but we also take storm refugees in certain circumstances.  Like with Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ivan and others, Jefferson County received evacuees from the gulf regions who were fleeing rising waters.  Due to the numerous interstates and highways leading in and out of our county, we are an ideal relocation spot for those who become displaced.