Best way to prepare for a storm surge

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Along the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane, says the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Sally crawled towards the Gulf Coast Tuesday, bringing a dangerous storm surge that could threaten lives.

“In the past, large death tolls have resulted from the rise of the ocean associated with many of the major hurricanes that have made landfall,” NHC says.

Hurricane Katrina is a prime example of the damage and devastation a storm surge can cause. At least 1,500 persons lost their lives during Katrina, with many of those deaths attributable–directly and indirectly–to the storm’s surge.

Wind and pressure components of hurricane storm surge
(National Hurricane Center)

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a hurricane or large storm, over and above predicted high or low tides.

So what to do?

The National Weather Service’s Joel Cline told Fox News a few months ago that the best way to prepare for a storm surge is to evacuate the area.

“You really can’t run away from the winds of a hurricane, but you can avoid the water,” he said.

Although elevated, this house in North Carolina could not withstand the 15 feet of storm surge that came with Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
(National Hurricane Center)

He stressed the importance of following hurricane preparedness advice: have on hand fresh water, batteries, battery-powered radios, propane, flashlights, canned food and handheld can openers.

Obeying evacuation orders is most important. And being prepared can save your life.

The Harford insurance company offers these storm surge tips:

(.) Determine your risk.

(.) Purchase flood insurance.

Waters from the Guld of Mexico poor onto a local road, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, in Waveland, Miss.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbrt)

(.) Organize your emergency supplies.

(.) Keep a portable radio handy.

(.) Prepare your home for flooding. Elevate utilities, such as electrical panels, switches, and appliances.

The Harford also advises not walking in moving water. It’s easy to fall and be swept away.


Also, don’t return home too soon. Make sure your home is structurally sound before you go back inside.

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