Alabama Power is urging customers to prepare for the effects of severe tropical weather as the Atlantic hurricane season enters its normal busy stretch.
The official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin (the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico) is June 1 to Nov. 30. However, as data from the National Hurricane Center shows, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October, a fact proved again last year when a record-high 30 named storms formed in the Atlantic basin, 18 of which formed between Aug. 13 and Oct. 25. Two of those storms – Sally and Zeta – caused hundreds of thousands of power outages across Alabama.
The updated outlook released Wednesday from NOAA said the number of expected named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater) is 15-21, including seven to 10 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), of which three to five could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds 111 mph or greater). This includes the five named storms that have formed so far.
How Alabama Power can help you prepare for hurricanes from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.
Since last year, Alabama Power has improved outage communications. Customers can now sign up for outage alerts, report outages from their smartphones and see outage updates instantly on the company’s new online outage map.
“We understand our customers look to us to restore service as quickly and safely as possible when severe weather strikes,” said Alabama Power spokesperson Dennis Washington. “These tools allow customers to track restoration progress through their preferred method of communication.”
Visit Alabama Power’s Storm Center at alabamapower.com/storm for more information on how to sign up for outage alerts and prepare for severe weather.
Preparing for a hurricane
If you don’t already have a hurricane plan in place, here are some questions to answer to make sure you and your family are ready:
Things to know about hurricanes from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.
As you prepare or update your plan, tailor it to your daily needs and responsibilities. Discuss how people in your network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or other challenges, such as operating medical equipment. Some additional factors to consider when developing your plan:
Identify in advance a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone who can provide shelter for you and your family in case you have to leave home.
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Emergency managers want you to know how to keep your family safe from deadly storms.
Strengthen Your Home from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.
For more information about how to be prepared for storms, in any season, please visit Alabama Power’s Storm Center at alabamapower.com/storm.