This does indeed seem to be an active year for increased Tropical disturbances. Last week Harvey did his number on the Gulf Coast and this week, Irma seems to be determined to wreak havoc too, albeit in another direction. While Irma's path seems a surety for Florida, where she will go after that is still any one's guess.
A certain "anyone", for whom I have tremendous respect is Joe Bastardi. Joe used to be with AccuWeather, but has since moved on. I'm not sure if AccuWeather ever sufficiently recovered from losing Joe. His ability to predict hurricane movement and behavior is uncanny. Granted, he's not always right, but he's been correct more often than not. What he came out with on Twitter yesterday, unnerved me.
Joe remarked that so far, the path that Irma is taking is remarkably close to the path taken by Hurricane Donna in September of 1960.
Hurricane Donna is one of my vaguest childhood memories. I was only three when she traveled up the East coast, but I remember, in particular, how worried my mother was about the impending storm. Kids pick up on their parent's worries; and I was no different. To date, Hurricane Donna is the second strongest storm to visit New Jersey. Numero Uno is Hurricane Sandy, and I have no desire, whatsoever, to live through that again.
So what do you do? A hurricane's path is never a certainty. Just about anything can change it - ocean temperature, winds aloft in the atmosphere, competing high and low pressure systems further ashore. But you CAN plan for a direct hit, even if it doesn't occur. It's way better to be prepared than not.
So, for all my friends living up and down the east coast, this may be old hat for you - but if it's not, here are some tips from the National Hurricane Center and FEMA:
And from an Amateur Radio standpoint, have those HTs and spare batteries charged up and ready to go. Have your personal Go Kits stocked, packed and ready to go. For those of you who are into portable HF ops, have those packed and ready to go. If you have a generator for your home, NOW is the time to gas it up and power it up to make sure it works.
To all my readers who are CERT members - remember, even if you are not called out by your respective Office of Emergency Management, you have been trained and are expected to care of yourself and your family and those in your immediate neighborhood. Do what you can, without putting yourself in danger, and you just might be able to spare your town's First Responders some time and resources.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!