Although NOAA has predicted at- or below-average numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes this year, emergency managers can’t afford to breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Although it’s important to review the warnings from national forecasters each year, it’s even more important to keep in mind that you can’t depend on playing a game of averages when your community is at stake.
If you are in charge of emergency management or emergency-related policy decisions for a coastal community, you know that hurricane season can be a risky and unpredictable time. Although 2014 isn’t expected to produce a great number of storms, there is still a real risk for strong storms and major hurricanes. Predictions of a lighter hurricane season don’t necessarily mean, for example, that you can allocate planned emergency resources elsewhere for the year, or leave a review of hurricane insurance coverage off the agenda for another quarter. It only takes one major storm to create an emergency situation in the community you are responsible for, and everyone suffers when response to an emergency is limited by poor planning and risk-taking.
As the 2014 hurricane seasons gets underway, make sure that you understand the insurance policies that cover hurricane damage in your municipality, review your response plans, and prepare for storms as you would any other year. If you need help organizing your municipality’s hurricane response plan, don’t hesitate to contact our team for a thorough consultation and review.