Are you ready for hurricane season?

The National Hurricane Center provides storm specific forecasts, including track and intensity guidance. The Bermuda Weather Service (BWS) provides the official watches, warnings and forecasts for Bermuda on the authority of the Bermuda Government.  You can also tune into the local radio and television stations and the Emergency Broadcast Station on 100.1FM.

How to prepare for a hurricane

  1. Meet with your family and plan ahead.
    Discuss with your family what you will do in the event of a hurricane. Be sure you incorporate lessons learned from previous hurricane seasons into your preparedness plan.
  2. Check wind strength and direction details and apply this information to your property.
    Know your home’s vulnerabilities. Are you elevated and exposed? Are you on the shore and exposed to the possibility of water damage?
  3. Stock up on all medications.
  4. Make sure that your home, boat, car, and contents insurance is up to date.
  5. Buy non-perishable goods.
    Purchase goods that can sustain you and your family for up to three days. This should include sufficient drinking water.
  6. Check on elderly neighbours.
    Make sure your neighbours are safe and have their supplies before a storm.
  7. Secure all outdoor furniture.
    Make sure your outdoor furniture doesn’t blow around during a hurricane and cause damage.
  8. Monitor weather conditions before, during and after a hurricane.
    Your preparations timetable may need to change based on how the weather pattern changes.
  9. Create a hurricane supplies check list.
    Replace items like used batteries, empty gas canisters for portable stoves and first aid kits.
  10. Invest in an analogue phone.
    Make sure you have a phone that does not need electricity to work.
  11. If you have a generator or a BBQ grill (gas or charcoal), do not operate it in the house.
    Keep any gasoline in a well-marked container in a safe location.
  12. Be sure to have sufficient pet supplies for your animals.
    Ensure your pets are safe during a hurricane.
  13. Stock up on games and books to stay occupied during a storm.
  14. Do not venture outside to have a look around during a hurricane.
    Depending on the storm system, the eye could pass over Bermuda. This is a time when there is reduced wind activity; the storm is still active during this period. Remain indoors.
  15. Stay indoors until emergency services indicate it is safe to move around the island again.
    Give emergency personnel time to clear the roads.

General information about hurricanes

A tropical storm wind speed ranges from sustained 34-63 knots, only one knot more and it becomes a hurricane.

Each tropical system is different and frequently they merge with other weather systems in the Bermuda area. This complicates the weather forecast and the dynamics of the tropical system. In some cases, the storm’s strength could be reduced, yet in others it could strengthen or cause embedded tornadoes. It is vital to continually monitor all official media sources for updates. Some storms are predictable and others continue to be challenging to forecast, especially when they are interacting with other weather features such as cold fronts.

Closest Point of Approach updates indicate the closest point of approach of the centre of the tropical cyclone to Bermuda within 72 hours. This will change every six hours with each weather update to incorporate current details which include movement and track changes of the storm.

Many people mistake the CPA as the CPA of the entire forecast or life of the storm, but it is only a three day position forecast, ie. within 72 hrs from when the forecast is issued.

It is important to be alert and to be prepared.  Find out where the emergency shelters and medical centres are located.