Colorado State University climatologist William Gray has released his 2013 annual hurricane predictions and says this year will be busier than usual adding that El Niño is not present this year.

Dr. Gray predicts 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes of which, four will be major hurricanes with a category 3 or higher rating.

The El Niño is an atmospheric force of tropical Atlantic wind shears that suppresses the development of tropical storms and hurricanes.

The Atlantic basin water temperatures are unusually warm, the chief ingredient in producing hurricanes and making them grow stronger than before.

Additionally, the Atlantic basins continue within a period of tropical intensity, a cyclic event, and shows signs of being especially active this year.

In 2005, El Niño nor its opposite La Niña were present, and there were 28 storms with 15 of them being hurricanes.  Forecasters had to start over with the alphabet in naming storms.

Gray and his research partner Phil Klotzbach, predict that there is 48% chance that a major hurricane will strike the U.S. east coast, and a 72% of hitting anywhere along the U.S. mainland.

HOW TO PREPARE

We’ve put together a list of things that disaster experts say you should do to prepare for a hurricane.

Before The Storm

  • Make a plan on where you will go, where you will stay, and if you have pets, plan now for where you can take them, so you don’t have to leave them behind.
  • Gather important documents.  Get a waterproof plastic box to put your insurance cards for your home, health and automobile, birth certificates, marriage certificates, car titles, and a list containing serial numbers to things like your TV, computers, and other valuables.
  • Make an emergency kit that contains first aid for you and your family and pets.  Include things like bandages, aspirin, any prescription medications you take, batteries, flashlights, a grill, charcoal or gas for the rack, 2-way radios, battery operated radio, and other essential items.
  • Fill the bathtub with water.  If you free water service, you won’t be able to flush your toilet unless you scoop water into the toilet’s tank first.
  • Buy non-perishable foods and water.  Experts say you should buy at the minimum, 1 gallon of water per day per person and to expect to be without water for a few days.  However, purchase extra is a good idea.
  • Buy enough plywood to cover your home’s windows, put away anything outside that can be blown away or become a dangerous flying object.
  • Buy tarps along with fastening materials such as nails.
  • Fill up your car or truck.
  • Make sure you have a camera with extra batteries.
  • Go to the ATM and withdraw enough money for thing things you may need. If the power is out, stores won’t be able to accept credit or debit cards.
  • If you’re forced to flee your home at the last minute, have a place as to where the family will meet, and establish a call-in check-in process for each person in your home with someone not in the affected areas.
  • Make sure you have a knife and scissors and a can opener.

During The Storm

  • Be prepared to evacuate.  Ideally, you should have left before the storm hits your area.  If you live near water or in a flood zone, have life preservers.
  • Don’t leave your home once the storm strikes, stay inside, and away from exterior walls and windows.
  • If they eye of the hurricane passes over, don’t go outside and don’t mislead thinking the storm is over.  Many injuries occur during this time as the other side of the eyewalls over sudden intense winds from the opposite direction can create a lot of damage and cause major injuries.

After The Storm

  • First check for injures among members of your house, then check on your neighbors for injuries.
  • Make a quick assessment of your home and determine if you can remain in your home, or if it is damaged, if you can make quick repairs to prevent further damage.
  • If you can not stay in your home, have a pre-arranged place you can go to, many people fail to do this and end up with no place to go and hotels are already full.
  • Check to see if your neighbors need help.
  • Take pictures of any damage, your insurance company will want to see them.

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