Here on the Rain Control Gutters blog we’ve talked about hurricanes a great deal. So when The Weather Channel mentioned the possibility that a so-called “grey” hurricane could strike in the future the article immediately piqued our interest.
What is a “Grey” Hurricane?
It’s a funny term for a kind of super hurricane. It’s called a “grey” hurricane as a reference to the “grey swan” theory–the idea that the world can hold extreme outliers which deliver a massive impact.
In other words, sooner or later there’s going to be a storm which is far stronger than the norm, and which causes massive devastation.
Tampa isn’t the only city which is a candidate for catching this so-called grey hurricane, but it is one of the best candidates.
“The Tampa Bay Area was No. 1 on our list of America’s most vulnerable hurricane cities because of the threat there today, let alone when sea level is higher later this century,” said Bryan Norcross, hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel referring to sea-level rise predictions from climate change. “Tampa Bay is like a catcher’s mitt for storm surge. It’s easy to imagine a north- to northeast-moving hurricane pushing Gulf water into the bay, submerging thousands of homes and businesses in surging water. It doesn’t matter if the storm surge at the top of Tampa Bay is 15 feet, as it was in the great hurricane of 1848, or 25 feet in some giant storm in the future. For people caught in it, it will be unsurvivable.”
With such a fearsome storm looking so statistically likely, what can Tampa residents do to protect themselves?
Stay on top of news coverage.
You should at least be checking in with your local news and weather teams once a day during hurricane season. You can’t afford to be caught off guard or unawares.
Set up alerts on your cell phone so you get severe weather notices and evacuation orders, too.
Be ready to evacuate.
Make sure your car is in good working order. Make a plan for where you will go — a hotel, or relative’s house, or wherever. If you have pets, scout pet-friendly shelter options.
Create an evacuation fund so you’ll always have money set aside for food, gas, and shelter. Know where some of your closest hurricane shelters are, just in case. There are a group of city pages on our service area web page. They all list shelter information for the various suburbs of the Tampa Bay Area.
During hurricane season, make sure your gas tank is never less than 3/4ths full. Pack a “go bag” for you and your family members. Store it in the car, not in your house.
Look out for your neighbors if you have a little bit of extra space in the car. For example, you might know an elderly person who doesn’t have access to a car. Consider making this disadvantaged neighbor part of your plans.
Finally, make sure you know how you’ll gather all your family members if an evacuation order comes in while everyone is at work or at school. Make sure smaller children carry an index card with them which lists vital information like your name, phone number, and third party emergency contacts. This can be safety pinned to a backpack.
Check your insurance coverage.
How much will your insurance coverage help you in the event of a major storm? Chances are if you bought a policy with an eye towards paying the lowest possible deductible every month you won’t actually have enough coverage to take care of yourself after this kind of a storm hits.
Now might be a good time to call your insurance agency to increase your coverage. Make sure you have flood insurance, too.
These are all just precautions.
Obviously there isn’t any grey hurricane heading our way right this second. The Weather Channel is simply making the point that a hurricane like this is highly likely at some point in our future. That could be a month for now or it could be 8 years from now. We just don’t know.
However, it’s always good to be aware and prepared. Even if there is no super storm this year we still live in hurricane country, and we’re still right in the middle of hurricane season. Taking these precautions could save your life or the lives of loved ones. It may feel all feel a little silly while nothing’s happening, but on the day something does happen you’ll be ready.
At Rain Control Gutters we install seamless aluminum gutters around Ocala, Land o’Lakes and the rest of the Tampa Bay metro area. We also offer gutter cleaning and repair services. We’re concerned about the home and property of all of our Tampa area neighbors, which is why we offer this kind of information on a regular basis. We also offer free estimates, so contact us today!