Unpredictable Extreme Weather Demands Heightened Preparedness

No one was prepared for the fast-moving wildfires that killed more than 100 unsuspecting people in Hawaii with hundreds more missing|

… or the deadly tornadoes and flooding in the Mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast

… plus the continued excessive heat in the Southwest

… and definitely not the rare tropical storm that hit California last month. 

Nobody saw it coming before it was too late. 

Each of those recent extreme events, including Hawaii’s fatal wildfires fueled by a hurricane in the Pacific Ocean, caused power outages, increases in food prices, and water contamination concerns.

They came right on the heels of other severe weather events including tornadoes, flooding, severe heat, and wildfires. And now weather experts are predicting above-average hurricane activity after a slow start, due to warm ocean waters.

Unpredictable and increasingly severe weather has become our new normal. It calls for a heightened level of preparedness. 

Let’s take a quick look at these recent punishing weather episodes. Then we’ll discuss what’s still to come and what’s keeping meteorologists on edge.

Hurricane Fans Hawaii’s Flames

You’ve all seen the horrific images of the destruction and loss of life recently in Hawaii. They’re still not sure what started the wildfires, although they suspect faulty power lines. 

They do know that Hurricane Dora – hundreds of miles southwest in the Pacific Ocean – fanned the flames. 

That hurricane was one of the reasons the Lahaina fire on Maui traveled at the incredible speed of over one mile per minute. 

Even realizing fires might be headed their way didn’t help some because the siren warning system failed. It all happened so quickly – there was no time to evacuate.   

The recent violent storms in the Mid-Atlantic states and Northeast caused at least two deaths, injured many others, and knocked out power to more than 1.1 million people. Several tornadoes were also reported, and flooding occurred in several states. 

Folks in 11 states lost power due to the storms. Canceled flights and road closures led to supply chain problems including food deliveries to stores. And as frequently happens, water quality was being questioned. 

Meanwhile, oppressive heat in the South and Southwest continued unabated. It took an entire month before high temperatures finally dipped below 110 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix, Arizona. Monsoon rains brought some relief, but also caused dust storms.   

Weather Events Have a Long Reach

Even if you live in an area that experiences few extreme weather events, the ones outside your immediate area can negatively affect you. 

Last year a hurricane in Florida and the Carolinas caused problems as far north as New York. Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states.

Don’t think for a minute you’ll be spared from severe weather if it doesn’t normally touch you. Just two years ago, Texas and other southern states experienced unprecedented ice storms that cut power to millions, burst water pipes, and closed roads. 

Not to mention the snowball effect. Severe weather in other states can end up costing you more at the grocery store and at the gas pump. All it takes is a disruption in the supply chain for that to occur. 

Taking care of your emergency power, food, and water needs – in advance – will go a long way to providing you with peace of mind now and the things you will need most when blackouts occur.

WARNING: Hurricane Predictions Ticking Up

As of this writing, it’s been a slow hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. Which is what they predicted with the El Niño weather pattern now in effect. 

But a not so funny thing is happening in the Atlantic. Weather.com says: “The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season may be one of the most active for any El Niño season on record, due to record-warm Atlantic Ocean water temperatures.”  

The Weather Company has altered its prediction. They’re now calling for a projected 20 total storms. With 10 of them expected to become hurricanes and five anticipated to reach at least Category 3. 

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center upgraded its hurricane activity prediction to “above-normal.” 

And we know what that means. Survivors will need back-up power to handle the outages. They’ll need survival food to handle supply chain issues and empty grocery store shelves. And they’ll need water purification devices to handle contaminations.

Your All-in-One Solution 

It's clear, now more than ever, that the time to prepare is now.  Extreme weather is no longer confined to certain regions. 

Ice storms in Texas… tornadoes in Massachusetts… wildfires in Hawaii… a tropical storm in Southern California… you just never know what might be right around the corner where you live. 

As San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said, “We’re not built for this kind of rainfall.” Officials in Texas, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and other states could echo that same theme.

But the one common denominator all these disasters have in common is power outages. 

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