Hurricane Forecast Upped for 2005

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has upped this year’s hurricane outlook to yield 18 to 21 tropical storms with nine to 11 becoming hurricanes. NOAA’s meteorologist Richard Pasch calls it “a wake up call for everyone.”

In Pennsylvania, last summer’s Hurricane Ivan flooded homes and businesses in New Hope, Yardley and Easton. And in New Jersey alone, the $50 million bill from last July’s rainstorm hadn’t dried before this spring’s flood watch was followed by hurricane threats of Emily and Irene.

“Whether you are a homeowner or property manager, there are some
rudimentary steps to take immediately before and after a storm or hurricane that is heading your way,” said Dean Ragone, principal for allRisk, a New Jersey emergency response company.

Before the storm:
— Review your evacuation/disaster plan.
— Appoint a “storm team.” Keep a location map of building(s) and pay close attention to details of storm warnings.
— Inspect building(s) annually for storm worthiness.
— Fuel and service vehicles.

After the storm:
— Do damage assessment as quickly as possible.
— Have appropriate phone numbers in the hands of designated emergency team.
— Deal with water damage as soon as humanly possible.

“Residents and business owners must be aware that floodwaters can and do carry raw sewage, chemical waste and other disease-spreading substances. It is vital that all phases of floodwater extraction, sanitization, dryout and ultimately repair and restoration be done immediately,” said Ragone.