- What Happened to 2013 Hurricane Season?
- What you need to take when you evacuate
- Important hurricane cell phone tips
- Hurricane preps for your pets
- Winter Car Survival Kit
- Stay Warm AND SAFE This Winter!
- Driving in Severe Weather
- Do You Have a Safety Plan?
- Must Haves for Tornado Safety
- Getting Ready Before a Hurricane
- Get Ready for Hurricanes
- This Can Protect You During Tornado
- Preparing For Disaster
- Protect Against Pot Holes
- Disaster Proof Your Hard Drive
- Is Your Life Jacket Safe?
- Surviving an Avalanche
- Winter Tires Explainer
- Red Cross and The Weather Channel Team Up
- Cantore Trains for Water Rescues
- Tips: What To Do When Power Goes Out
- Emergency Kit Shopping List
- Weather Emergency Apps
- Boating Safety: Equipment and Techniques
- Teen Tire Safety
- Staying Safe in Dangerous Heat
- Pool Accidents Can Happen Quickly
- Oh Hurricane... What About My Vacation?!
- Swim Safely: Teaching Basic Skills
- Wx Warnings Coming To a Phone Near You
- Swim Safety: Learn how to swim
- Lightning strikes hit home
- See the damage debris or hail can do
- A field lab for fire
- FEMA answers your questions
- Prepare for tornado strikes
- Game helps kids get weather ready
- Pledge to be prepared
- Protecting your roof during storms
- Protect your roof even more in a storm
- Protecting your windows from hurricanes
- Driving during downpours
- Protect your home from fire
- You can't put a price on tire safety
- New tires? Front or back?
- Tires worn down? A penny can tell.
- Bringing down the heating bill
- Car Clinics: Tire maintenance
- Can you hide from a tornado?
- Prepare your home for severe weather
- Shake table helps lessen quake damage
- How do you know if the ice is safe?
- Winter driving: What you should have
- Tornado Safety Checklist
- Education of Disaster: Will you prepare?
- Education of Disaster: Are kids prepared?
- Education of Disaster: Being connected
- Don't forget your shoes during a tornado
- Prepare your home for winter
- Winter tires vs. all-season tires
- Get your car ready for winter
- How NOT to Drive on Ice!
- What to do if you're sliding on ice
- Keep your pets warm and safe this winter
- Generator safety
- Tornado safety: Car vs. ditch
- How to Survive a Tornado
- WeatherReady: Keeping you prepared
- Cool Winter Gadgets for your Car
- Is Your Car Ready for Winter?
- Maintenance on a budget
- Avoid winter car problems
- Tips before you fire up the furnace
- The perfect emergency kit for your car
- Keeping your home safe from a wildfire
- How clean is your car?
- What you should put in an emergency kit
- Tape Could Save Your Roof in a Hurricane
- Camping safety
- Mold removal tips from This Old House
- What you need to take when you evacuate
- Is your hurricane survival kit ready?
- Lightning and boats
- Staying safe in the heat
- Get prepared for a flood
- Get prepared for a hurricane
- Stay safe in a lightning storm
- Get prepared for a power outage
- Preparing for severe weather
(Editor's Note: Dr. Rick Knabb recently left his position as The Weather Channel's Hurricane Expert to become Director of the National Hurricane Center. During his time at The Weather Channel, Dr. Knabb would mark the beginning of each season by analyzing a handful of cities that were either overdue or particularly vulnerable to hurricanes. Before he left for his new post, he created this list of hurricane wake-up calls for 2012.)
“I didn’t think it could happen here.”
“I’ve lived here for decades and never expected anything like this.”
“We were caught off guard.”
The words of people caught in the aftermath of a hurricane – especially a particularly strong or large one – often reflect the fact that at any one location, a damaging and deadly hurricane is a fairly rare occurrence. While it is obviously a good thing that they don't strike more often, there is a hidden danger there: we are often lulled into complacency and the belief that the chances are so small that we don't really need to make the serious preparations we often hear we should.
There’s another, related curveball that hurricanes of the past throw at us. If we experience any part of a hurricane, even the outer fringes, we sometimes think we “went through it”.
Consider that back in 1983, I “went through” Hurricane Alicia in the Houston, Texas area. It was one of the scariest nights of my life. Fact is, though, that I directly experienced only winds of tropical storm force on the comparatively weaker side of the circulation in the western suburbs.
Many people probably remember certain hurricanes that hit their general area, while the brunt of the storm hit a few miles away and spared them the worst. Nearby areas surrounding those that were devastated might not be as fortunate next time.
So, combining all of the above, the ultimate wake-up call is a devastating hurricane that is the first that has hit an area in a long time but spares particular cities or neighborhoods. All of the hurricanes on this year’s list have both historical attributes.
People who ahead of time had an evacuation plan, enough insurance, sufficient supplies, and window coverings that are tested, approved, and properly installed, usually fared much better after a hurricane than those who didn't. So, there is a need to do everything possible to convince ourselves we are hurricane-vulnerable – to the point we make these preparations, even if we've not been hit by a hurricane in a long time, or even if the worst parts of nearby hurricanes appear to keep missing us.
Next: Our #5 wake-up call