June 1st marked the start of the U.S. 2022 Storm Season. Experts project the season, officially from June 1 through November 30, will be a busy one with above average named storms and hurricanes.
Hurricane Agatha Hits Mexico
Coming in from the Pacific, Hurricane Agatha struck southern Mexico as a Category 2 hurricane two days before the start of the 2022 storm season. Agatha was historic as the strongest hurricane to strike the eastern Pacific in May.
Agatha, hitting before the official 2022 storm season, made landfall Monday afternoon on a sparsely populated stretch of small beach towns and fishing villages in Oaxaca. It was a strong Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Striking the lightly populated area of Oaxaca, Agatha caused power outages, washed out bridges with flooding, and blocked highways with landslides. Inland flooding is common with hurricanes as is seen every year with storm that hit the Gulf and East Coasts.
Gulf Loop is North and Warm Early
The Gulf Loop is a water current in the Gulf of Mexico that has significant impact on water temperatures. Entering the 2022 storm season, the Loop is positioned well north in the Gulf. It is already causing early warming of water temperatures. Warm water temperatures provide fuel to storms forming in the Gulf that aid them in their growth to hurricanes. Early warm temperatures can indicate a serious 2022 storm season on the way.
Storm Surge and Flooding Impact Water Supplies and Power Systems
Damage from hurricanes begins well before landfall. High winds damage homes and businesses, but also generate storm surge. Both the wind and the surge can impact your water.
For those on public water systems, particularly in coastal counties, storm surges can damage the public water infrastructure. Also, they can contaminate public water supplies. It can be days and weeks before potable water returns to a community. And, as seen during the big southern freeze of 2021, loss of power also causes loss of public water.
For those on water wells, power outages from strong winds leave you without water, and restoring power may take days or weeks. Water wells are also at risk from storm surges and flooding that can contaminate the well water. We take water to our homes for granted. Also, we assume water will always be there and will be drinkable. For those in the path of a major storm, that simply isn’t the case. How will you prepare for the 2022 storm season?
Do You Have a 2022 Storm Season Plan?
Every family should plan for storm season. This plan should have power, water, and food components.
How will you handle being with out power for several days or more? When utilities go out, you must prioritize. While electricity is not critical, it allows for many that are important during a major event. Medical equipment and supplies are critical. Communication is certainly important. Heating and air conditioning are conveniences.
Have a food plan for the 2022 storm season. Food is important, but recognize that it doesn’t have to be gourmet food. During a crisis, calories may be more important that quality. Have adequate food that can be eaten with minimum preparation.
The most critical emergency supply is potable water. You need a plan for adequate water supplies IN PLACE before the storm. You’ll need water not only for consumption, but also for basic sanitation and hygiene. Bottled water is our “go-to” approach for emergency water. It may not be the best approach for our elderly or those with physical challenges.
Much like generators, there are battery-powered, whole-house emergency water systems. These systems provide potable water, under pressure, throughout your home or small business. Also, they are an environmentally responsible approach to emergency water, eliminating plastic bottle waste from our landfills.
With a severe 2022 storm season expected, make sure you have adequate water.