Looking ahead to the 2013 tropical season - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Looking ahead to the 2013 tropical season

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By Tom Crawford

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — We've seen one tropical storm brush by the South Carolina coast and another is forming in the Caribbean and taking aim at Belize. What can we expect from this hurricane season?

Well the numbers keep coming out for the 2013 hurricane season and it still looks to be a busy one, at least in terms of tracking those storms. NOAA's latest outlook for this year points to it being well above normal for a hurricane season.

Normally we would see 12 named storms with 6.5 of those becoming hurricanes. Two of those hurricanes would become major or a Category 3 hurricane or greater. This year NOAA has issued their prediction of 13-20 named storms; 7-11 will become hurricanes and 3-6 will become major hurricanes.

The main reasons for the predicted increase in activity are the warmer than normal Sea Surface Temperatures. Also, an El Nino is unlikely for this year. Those are the winds that stifle or cut down on tropical storm formation or at least stifle the strength of the storms.

If we have a below hurricane season or an above hurricane season, it only takes one slow moving tropical storm or hurricane to cause plenty of damage and destruction.

No matter how many storms occur this year, it's always best to be prepared. Let's look into what is really needed as we move deeper in this years hurricane season.

Do you have an insurance plan that is up to date? Have you talked to your agent lately to make sure you are fully covered and the right deductibles are in place? Are you required to have flood insurance? More than likely if you are required and you have a mortgage, it's apart of your coverage already. You may want to think of getting flood insurance even if you're not in a flood prone area.

It's always a great plan to have your personal papers in order and ready at hand incase of an evacuation. You can quickly grab those papers and head to safety.

Imagine evacuating your home and coming back to a damaged or destroyed home with no paper work. It could be a long, frustrating process to get back to normal.

Make sure you and your family have an evacuation plan. You may or may not be ordered to evacuate depending how close you are to the coast or river areas. Know where your evacuation routes are located. I've always said it's better to leave early and return late – that way you'll avoid much of the traffic.

If you do have to evacuate and you have a pet or pets, know what is expected of you and your pets at different shelters and hotels. Some hotels accept pets and some don't.

Make sure you take plenty of food and any medications for your pets, as well.

And speaking of medications, if you and your family evacuate the area, make sure you have all of your medications.

A full tank of gas along with ready cash in hand is a great idea. Electrical power may be down for days or even weeks after a storm passes. A full tank of gas and cash in hand will put you ahead of the crowd.

If you remain in place, make sure you have a survival kit that will continue to provide food and water to you and your family for several days. Toiletries are a must as well.

Be prepared as we continue into the hurricane season, even if we are not effected by a storm.

The 2013 North Atlantic hurricane season officially started June 1. The last official day of the season will be November 30.

  • Tom Crawford

    Email: tcrawford@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile

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