storm damage

A man walks around damage to the sidewalk adjacent to the Neptune Fun Zone caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

In case you have not been paying attention, it starts today.

The 2019 hurricane season is under way, meaning conditions are right for an unwelcome visit from the likes of Andrea, Barry or Chantal. What Alex Eaton wants to know is, are you ready?

Being ready means having a hurricane emergency kit in place now, not when The Weather Channel and other media sites begin airing dire warnings about the pending approach of one of these named storms the long storm season ahead.

“We like to say, be proactive,” said Eaton, EMA Specialist for the Glynn County Emergency Management Agency. “We want people to know that they should already be prepared for hurricane season.”

Eaton strongly encourages residents to have a hurricane kit ready — bottled water, nonperishable foods, flashlights, battery-operated UHF-band radios, spare batteries, medications, pet supplies and more. It also means having an evacuation plan in place, complete with details settled on transportation and destination.

Glynn County was spared the wrath of the 2018 hurricane season, during which Hurricane Michael pummeled the Florida panhandle in October and Hurricane Florence brought massive flooding to North Carolina in September. However, Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 prompted Glynn County officials to order mandatory evacuations as both storms brought heavy wind damage, flooding and extended widespread power outages to the area.

County EMA officials have learned from the lessons of Irma and Matthew that residents’ hurricane kits should be sufficient enough to last at least a full week. For information on the essentials of hurricane season preparations, visit glynncounty.org/ema, http://ready.ga.gov, or www.redcross.org.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting 15 named storms in 2019, of which between four and eight could become hurricanes. Between two and four of those could become major hurricanes, with wind speeds of 111 mph or higher, NOAA predicts. The 2019 season continues through Nov. 31.

The time to prepare is now, Eaton said.

“Plan on a sunny day for what the rainy days will bring,” he said.

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