Remember the weather? It’s been a while since it has been a topic of conversation.
But with the storms that blew through the area earlier this week, we are reminded that the start of hurricane season is just little more than a month away.
As early as late March, AccuWeather predicted a pretty busy season for hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin, calling for 14 to 18 tropical storms between June 1 and Nov. 30. Seven to nine of those are forecast to become hurricanes, and two to four are predicted to strengthen into major hurricanes.
“It’s going to be an above-normal season,” AccuWeather storm expert Dan Kottlowski said. “On a normal year, we have around 12 storms, six hurricanes and roughly three major hurricanes.”
The 2019 season marked the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity in the basin and was tied with 1969 for the fourth most-active hurricane season on record, according to AccuWeather.
And there’s reason to believe the 2020 season could be every bit as active, the weather forecasting firm said in its announcement.
All well and good, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter how many hurricanes are predicted for the 2020 season. Every year, it seems, prognosticators prognosticate an “above-normal season” in the Atlantic.
What matters is The One. Just that one hurricane that whips through and wipes out everything in its path. One is all it takes.
That’s the one to worry about. And now is the time to start worrying. Or, better, preparing. Or at least thinking about preparing for hurricane season.
The Daily News will publish its annual hurricane preparedness guide in late May. But the chaos that is the coronavirus pandemic might raise questions and pose scenarios that are unique and require more thought than what residents might see as the usual prep.
How do you control social distancing when throngs of people are fleeing a killer storm? Should half your bug-out bag be filled with masks and hand sanitizer? Will surging floodwaters and the effort to escape them lead to another wave of infections?
All good questions. But here’s one you need to answer right away: Where are you with flood insurance? Loss of income because of illness or restrictions might have had you looking for ways to cut corners. Was your flood insurance one of those corners?
If you need to start or renew your flood insurance, know that the waiting period for a National Flood Insurance Program policy is 30 days.
Hurricane season starts on June 1, so Friday would be the deadline for getting a plan in place to cover you for the full season.
If you think we’re not likely to get hit with a major hurricane and related flooding in the first few weeks of the season, you’re probably right. But you probably also haven’t heard of Murphy’s Law.
It’s hard to remember a time when the coronavirus wasn’t top of mind or to imagine when it won’t be again. But although this pandemic has stopped the world in its tracks, it can’t stop the tropical storms that unusually warm water temperatures in the Caribbean are already starting to feed.
Get ready for hurricane season 2020 — and don’t let the major distraction of a global pandemic leave you unprepared.
• Margaret Battistelli Gardner