NEW FOR 2017 – KNOW YOUR ZONEThe Commonwealth of Virginia has unveiled new hurricane evacuation zones for coastal Virginia designed to enhance current evacuation plans, boost public safety, and improve travel efficiency in the event of hurricanes or other disasters. Learn about the new zones and get full hurricane preparedness information at the Ready Lancaster website
The two keys to weather safety are to prepare for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. Stay tuned to 104.9 WIGO, and 101-7 Bay FM for complete storm coverage in the event a hurricane approaches the area.
Know if you live in an evacuation area. Assess your risks and know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind. Understand National Weather Service forecast products and especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
Watches and Warnings – Learn the terms that are used to identify a hurricane.
Hurricane Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of 64 knots (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 64 knots (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher are possible within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph or 63 to 118 km/hr) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours (24 hours for the Western North Pacific) in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.
Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 34 to 63 knots (39 to 73 mph or 63 to 118 km/hr) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.[/vc_column_text]
Plan & Take Action
Everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected. Your friends and family may not be together when disaster strikes. How will you find each other? Will you know if your children or parents are safe? You may have to evacuate or be confined to your home. What will you do if water, gas, electricity or phone services are shut off?
Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
- Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan
- Be sure to plan for locations away from home
- Business owners and site locations should create Workplace Plans
- Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals.
- Prepare your boat and be aware of marine safety if you are on or near the water.
2017 Hurricane Names
Names are selected by the World Meteorological Organization’s hurricane committee. Six lists of names are used in rotation. If a storm had extraordinary impact, its name is retired. In 2011, the name Irene was retired because of the deaths and damage it caused. In 2008, three hurricane names in the Atlantic were retired from the official name rotation: Gustav, Ike and Paloma will not be used again. The names Hugo, Andrew, Floyd and Isabel also have been retired. Sandy has been retired from the official list of tropical storm names because of the extreme impacts it caused from Jamaica and Cuba to the Mid-Atlantic U.S. in October 2012.
A storm is named when its winds travel counterclockwise and reach 39 mph, tropical storm strength. For more information, visit NOAA’s hurricane naming page.
Arlene Bret Cindy Don Emily Franklin Gert Harvey Irene Jose Katia Lee Maria Nate Ophelia Philippe Rina Sean Tammy Vince Whitney
Classification: Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on wind speed and potential to cause damage:
- Category One – Winds 74-95 mph
- Category Two – Winds 96-110 mph
- Category Three – Winds 111-129 mph
- Category Four – Winds 130-156 mph
- Category Five – Winds greater than 157 mph
Evacuation order: This is the most important instruction people affected by hurricanes will receive. If issued, leave immediately.
For more information, visit Accuweather.com’s Hurricane page.