Sunday, August 29, 2010

Earl Moves West, Where Next?

Earl is a little more south and west today than the National Hurricane Center was predicting on Thursday. That the track is as accurate as it is, is a testament to the knowledge that forecasters have about how storms move and to the computer tools that crunch the data. They're doing a marvelous job.

However, weather forecasting is a system of educated guesses. The fact that the track was a little off is to be expected. That's why they have that big cone of uncertainty around the track. One little wobble, one slight deviation can send the storm hundreds of miles in a different direction.

If you live in the Caribbean Islands you should be ready to feel the storm's effects, and as Earl makes up his mind which way he's going next, I encourage anyone living on the Eastern Seaboard, particularly in the Carolinas or Virginia, to make preliminary preparations for Earl's passing.

Hopefully, you already did some prep work for Danielle and breathed a big sigh of relief when she stayed well east of U.S. shores. Think about the two or three days notice you might get if Earl ends up coming your way. What will you need to do during that time? What can you do now to save yourself time if the hurricane comes your way?

Many of my earlier posts on this blog offer suggestions for things to think about ahead of a natural disaster. You can also visit the links on my sidebar for checklists and tips for preparation.

Here are some ideas:

Before the storm:
Prepare your property for high winds and heavy rains.
Know if you need to evacuate or sandbag your home.
Be ready to prepare meals without electricity or running water.
Care for your family's health, and that includes the family pets.

After the storm:
Make temporary repairs.
File insurance claims.
Notify friends, family and co-workers of your situation.
Will you have to report for work? Or will you be living without a paycheck?

Please don't wait until the last minute to think things through.
You'll need to remain calm and take quick action if the storm turns your way.
Advance planning is the key.

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