WASHINGTON—The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another above-average Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 through November 30.
Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.
This year there could be 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence interval.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver lifesaving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
NACS resources are available to help convenience retailers develop or enhance their disaster planning procedures. The Convenience Store Emergency Planning and Job Aids are designed to help convenience retailers quickly and efficiently determine the best course of action for their teams to plan for an emergency and resume operations quickly and safely.
“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator.
Craig Fugate, former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, shared last year in NACS Magazine that the pandemic has added another layer to emergency preparation: “Especially in this time of COVID-19, retailers are pressed for time, but not preparing for a hurricane or other natural disaster will put them at a distinct disadvantage and will hamper their ability to re-open quickly.”
Fugate, who served as FEMA chief under the Obama Administration and is the creator of the “Waffle House Index,” headlined a webinar (scroll mid-page to view) on how convenience retailers can plan and prepare for emergencies and how to use the NACS disaster planning resources.
For more emergency planning resources, NACS Magazine articles and Convenience Matters podcast episodes, visit the Disaster and Emergency Preparedness page.
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