The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just issued its predictions for the upcoming hurricane season, which begins June 1.

If NOAA’s forecast is correct, we’ll have a very busy summer tracking storms in the Gulf and the Atlantic:

According to NOAA, there is a seventy per cent chance of the following:

  • 14 to 23 named storms (either tropical storms with top winds of at least 39 miles per hour or hurricanes)
  • 8 to 14 of those storms will reach hurricane status (with top winds of at least 74 miles per hour)
  • Of those 8 to 14 hurricanes, 3 to 7 will become major hurricanes (with top winds of at least 111 miles per hour)

I’ve posted on hurricane preparedness before but this is certainly a good time for ROC managers and board members to review their existing hurricane preparedness plans and to remind their residents (snowbirds and full-timers alike) of a few important points:

  • Residents should not wait until the last minute to evacuate their communities–especially those in need of special care or with pets
  • Do not leave lawn chairs, tables, etc. outside when a storm is on the way.  Anything that can become a projectile should be brought inside or be otherwise safely secured.
  • A mandatory evacuation order means just that: evacuate your community.  Unless your clubhouse is a Red Cross certified storm shelter, it should not in any event be used to "ride out" the storm.
  • Make sure all contact information for residents is readily available
  • Appoint one or two "full time"residents (not the manager) to serve as the "information centers" in the event that a storm hits the community.  All residents should be advised to contact these residents rather than the manager or other board members for updates on conditions at the community.   The manager and the other board members will have their hands full in dealing with the challenges facing any community in the aftermath of a storm.

We all hope that this hurricane season will be as quiet and uneventful as last year’s but, as always, taking the proper steps to prepare for the worst is the best course of action for managers, board members and residents in our communities. 


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