Preparing for an Active Hurricane Season in 2024

The upcoming hurricane season in the Atlantic is anticipated to be particularly active, as indicated by experts from Colorado State University (CSU). Their forecast predicts an “extremely active” season with 23 named storms expected between June 1 and Nov. 30. This forecast surpasses the average of 14.4 named storms annually recorded from 1981 to 2020. In light of these projections, businesses operating in hurricane-prone regions must take proactive steps to safeguard their assets and operations. This article delves into the CSU researchers’ insights and offers practical tips for businesses to navigate the challenging storm season. Forecasted Storm Activity Out of the 23 named storms projected for 2024, 11 are anticipated to escalate into hurricanes. Among these, five could intensify into major hurricanes with sustained winds exceeding 111 mph. The CSU researchers attribute these above-average predictions to several factors, including exceptionally high sea surface temperatures, the anticipated return of La Niña—a cyclical climate pattern—and reduced vertical wind shear, which aids in sustaining storms throughout the summer and fall. The predictions also shed light on the probability of hurricanes making landfall, segmented by region. The overall likelihood of a Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricane hitting any part of the U.S. coastline stands at 62%, marking an 18% rise from last year’s estimations. Specifically, the East Coast faces a 34% chance of such hurricanes, while the Gulf Coast faces a 42% probability. Preparedness Guidelines Given these forecasts, it’s imperative for businesses to prepare adequately for potential storm impacts, especially those with assets or operations in vulnerable areas. Here are essential preparedness measures to consider:
  1. Risk Assessment: Understand and assess specific hurricane risks unique to your business’s location, including potential wind and flood hazards.
  2. Establish a Plan: Develop and regularly practice a comprehensive hurricane response plan with employees. This plan should encompass communication protocols, business continuity strategies, and emergency evacuation routes.
  3. Property Protection: Take proactive steps to minimize hurricane-related property damage. This includes installing storm shutters on all windows and doors, removing hazardous trees near structures, and securing vital equipment and documents in elevated, safe locations.
  • Insurance Review: Consult with insurance professionals to review and ensure adequate commercial coverage, providing financial protection in the event of hurricane-related losses.
By prioritizing preparedness and implementing these proactive measures, businesses can enhance