Sea Science: by Jordanna Sheermohamed
With the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season upon us, many are still reeling and rebuilding from the effects of the 2017 season. Last season began early, with the first system occurring in April, nearly a month and a half before the official start of the season.
The season also churned out six major hurricanes, defined as a Category 3 or higher (minimum winds of 111 mph), with several of these rolling through the Caribbean like a pair of roughly thrown dice. While these systems slammed into some islands and spared others, there is no denying that every nation located along these trajectories were on high alert to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
While many will use last year’s memories to keep them on their toes, others will confuse luck as an excuse to turn a blind eye to nature’s potential. All must remain vigilant when it comes to staying aware and preparing early. Unfortunately, as with any major news story, by the time it reaches the mainstream media, it’s already too late.
Tight finances often exclude many from early preparation, but there are several affordably prudent investments that can make a major difference if found on the undesirable end of a near hit or direct landfall.
First, consider the “3-3-3 rule”: One can survive three minutes without oxygen to the brain, three days without water and three weeks without food, all pending on having shelter from the elements or a harsh environment.
So, with focus on the latter two of the rule, ensuring access to water for drinking and cooking is key. But don’t forget hygiene and sanitation needs, because toilets don’t flush with wishes. This commodity isn’t something that will go bad and while it requires an upfront investment, it will get used at some point down the line.
Another heavily recommended tool to add to your arsenal is a solar battery charger. Keep in mind, the larger the surface area of the solar panel, the faster the battery pack will charge, so smaller is most definitely not better when looking for solar chargers. Consider purchasing a battery that has a minimal charge capacity of 15,000 mAh (milliamp hours), which will provide roughly four to six cellphone charges.
In areas that are hurricane prone, there is no limit to the amount of sunlight during tropical season, and solar chargers can offer a little bit of comfort when electricity isn’t an option.
Jordanna Sheermohamed is president and lead meteorologist of Weather Forecast Solutions, a weather-forecasting firm (WeatherForecastSolutions.com). Comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.