City of Philadelphia, PA

05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 17:31

Atlantic Hurricane Season: Know Your Risk and Be Prepared

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and extends into the fall, coming to a close November 30.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) with the Climate Prediction Center announcedtheir initial outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

This season is predicted to be near-normal, producing a forecasted 12 to 17 named storms. This is partly due to an ongoing El Nino and above-average Atlantic temperatures, according to NOAA.

New this year, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Weather Outlook(which shows tropical cyclone formation potential) has expanded the forecast range from five to seven days to create better awareness and preparation as a storm develops.

Storms become hurricanes once maximum sustained wind speed reaches at least 74 mph and are categorized from 1 to 5. The higher the category, the greater the chance for property damage. Besides damages from wind, hurricanes can produce devastating flooding. However, a powerful storm can create damage even if it's not classified as a hurricane due to lower wind speeds.

"Hurricane season highlights and displays the potential for serious damage from high winds, excessive rainfall, and lightning that cause power outages, flooding, property damage, and harm to ourselves and loved ones," said Dominick Mireles, Director, Office of Emergency Management. "We need everyone to be aware that these risks can exist even if a named hurricane does not happen here. Tropical storms and thunderstorms that produce tornadoes, hail, and excessive wind gusts are impactful and destructive. Emergency preparation begins at home and we need residents and businesses to be prepared to create resilient communities throughout Philadelphia."

Resources can be found on the Office of Emergency Management's website, including insightinto how our office prepares for forecasted storms and ways to document your damageif you should experience a disaster.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management urges residents and businesses to prepare for severe storms, not only during the Atlantic hurricane season, but year-round:

  • Stay Aware.Get storm information and emergency details from the City. Text READYPHILA to 888-777 for free text alerts or visit OEM's website at customize your free text or emails, including flood forecasts on area waterways.
  • Be Insured. Assess your flood risk and give yourself an insurance check-up. Flood insurance is not covered under a standard homeowner or renter's policy. There is no guarantee that federal disaster assistance will be available when a flood occurs.
  • Remain Prepared.Create afamily emergency planand build a disaster supply kitincluding water and non-perishable food for three days
  • Get Connected. Join OEM's Community Preparednessteam to get monthly newsletters and join our Community Chat series every first Tuesday and third Thursday of the month on Facebook. Email us at [email protected]to check availability on scheduling preparedness workshops that will teach you about emergency planning and how to put those plans into action.
  • Access Resources. Find helpful flooding info all in one place, including the Guide to Flooding in Philadelphia from the city's Flood Risk Management Task Force.
Severe weather words defined.