Storm surge is the number one killer during a tropical storm or hurricane. That’s why the National Hurricane Center is coming out with some new products to help make sure you understand the risks.
“What we’re trying to do is communicate the storm surge hazard more clearly and more effectively” said Dr. Rick Knabb, the director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL.
To do that, two new products will be introduced to the public over the next few years. One, the potential storm surge inundation, or flooding, map, was first used during Hurricane Arthur last season.
Knabb explains: “It’s gonna clearly show where storm surge could occur and put everybody on the same playing field, a very consistent message on where the flooding could occur.”
The map was well received by emergency managers in our area and by officials at the National Weather Service in Newport.
“We’re trying to put that out to really put a focus on that threat because that has the capability of taking more lives than any other threat from a tropical cyclone” said John Cole, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Newport.
A new addition this year, a watch/warning map for storm surge. These maps will be issued out ahead of a storm that threatens the coast, to even further highlight areas that could be flooded out by storm surge. But Knabb was quick to point out that even with the additional knowledge these products will bring, it’s still important to be prepared.
“Those new tools are not gonna be nearly as effective if people haven’t in advance thought through what their vulnerability to storm surge is. You gotta find out today if you live in an evacuation zone” said Knabb.
For more information on how to get an emergency kit together for your family, and on a budget at that, click here.