Experts urge everyone to prepare for hurricane season, no matter where you live
BY JOHN ELLIOTT
APRIL 13, 2022 / 7:07 PM / CBS NEW YORK
NEW YORK – The upcoming hurricane season this year could rival that of 2021, which ushered in a record-breaking 21 named tropical storms.
Federal officials warn it’s never too early to prepare.
As CBS2’s John Elliott reports, it has been nearly eight months since category four Hurricane Ida carved its devastating path from the gulf up through the northeast, directly killing 55 people.
Some Louisiana residents are still living in trailers.
“It’s going to be a long time before we come back. A real long time,” said Lafitte, Louisiana, resident Jenna Caminita.
A recent Colorado State University study predicts this year’s season – from June through November – could see 19 named storms, with nine hurricanes.
“If this forecast verifies, this is the seventh above-average season in a row,” said climate specialist Alex Desrosiers, whose research was part of the study. “It only takes one storm in your area to make it an active hurricane season for you. Even if it’s a well below-average season, you should still be ready.”
That’s the message FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also took to a hurricane conference in Orlando, Florida. They say complacency and lack of preparedness are what keeps them up at night, and they want all Americans – no matter where they live – to have a plan.
“Do you know how you’re going to evacuate? Do you know where you’re going to go?” said FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell.
“You have to have that plan ready to go,” said NOAA National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham.
Federal administrators also point out that recent storms — like Ida — intensify quickly and then hover over land longer than in previous years and that impacts officials’ timeline to get the message out.
“These storms are getting worse. We’re going to have less time to warn people,” Criswell said.
The federal agencies say they’re also doing all they can to expand their outreach, including diversifying their teams, especially to Spanish-speaking communities, to reach everyone potentially in a storm’s path.