Be prepared for storm season

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While the pandemic seems to be subsiding, thunderstorms and hurricanes may be the last thing anyone wants to consider.

But the 2021 hurricane season, June 1 through Nov. 30, started Tuesday; and a tornado already claimed a family’s landmark barn in Lee Center Thursday. (See page 1).

Predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show a high probability of 13-20 named storms during the 2021 season, according to national forecasters.

Of those, NOAA expects six to 10 to become hurricanes (winds 74 miles per hour or higher), with three to five “major” hurricanes (winds 111 mph or higher).

An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, with six hurricanes, three of them major, according to NOAA’s website.

Luckily, hurricanes are rare in upstate New York, though we certainly have our share of thunderstorms.

Storm preparations should include:

— Disaster kits with water and nonperishable food for at least three days, portable radio and flashlights with plenty of batteries, prescription medication, important documents and other special needs, such as baby diapers.

— An emergency plan so each family member knows how to find others. Have another emergency contact person who lives out of town.

— Stay informed on evacuation orders and routes. Check with your insurance agent on flood insurance and your homeowner’s policy.

— Businesses should have a disaster plan to locate employees, to continue business if the physical location is severely damaged or destroyed, etc.

Stock up on perishable foods now in case of food shortages or electrical outages in the wake of a hurricane or storm.

A little preparation now can save time, money and worry later.

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