Public Information Statement
Monday, May 25, 2009


TODAYS TOPIC:  STORM SURGE

THE GOAL OF HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK IS TO PROVIDE EDUCATION
ABOUT THE HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH A HURRICANE WHICH WILL PREPARE YOU
TO TAKE ACTION AS A HURRICANE APPROACHES. THIS INFORMATION MAY SAVE
YOUR LIFE, AT WORK, HOME, ON THE ROAD, OR ON THE WATER. EACH DAY OF
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK FEATURES A UNIQUE TOPIC RELEVANT TO
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS. HURRICANE SEASON OFFICIALLY RUNS FROM JUNE
1ST UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH FOR THE ATLANTIC, CARIBBEAN AND GULF OF
MEXICO.

TODAY WE WILL FOCUS ON STORM SURGE AND MARINE HAZARDS ASSOCIATED
WITH LAND FALLING TROPICAL SYSTEMS. THESE HAZARDS ARE NOT A MAJOR
CONCERN FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA SINCE WE ARE NOT DIRECTLY ADJACENT TO
THE COAST, HOWEVER, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE FROM THE REGION TRAVEL TO
POPULAR OCEAN SIDE DESTINATIONS DURING THE SUMMER AND FALL SEASONS.
THE GREATEST POTENTIAL FOR THE LOSS OF LIFE RELATED TO A HURRICANE
IS FROM THE STORM SURGE.

STORM SURGE OCCURS WHEN THE POWERFUL WINDS FROM A TROPICAL SYSTEM
PUSH ADDITIONAL WATER TOWARDS THE SHORELINE. THE ADDITIONAL WATER
WHEN COMBINED WITH RISING TIDES CAN INCREASE THE MEAN WATER LEVEL
INLAND 15 FEET OR MORE. THIS CAN CAUSE SEVERE FLOODING AND
TREMENDOUS DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES LOCATED IN PROXIMITY TO THE
COASTLINE.

USUALLY, THE MORE INTENSE THE TROPICAL SYSTEM IS, AND THE
CLOSER AN AREA IS TO THE STORM`S RIGHT-FRONT QUADRANT THE
MORE LIKELY STORM SURGE WILL OCCUR. UNDER THESE CONDITIONS AN
EVACUATION MAY BE DEEMED NECESSARY. TO MINIMIZE TO LOSS OF LIFE,
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WILL MAKE DECISIONS CONCERNING WHICH AREAS WILL
NEED TO BE EVACUATED BY DESIGNATED ROUTES. PERSONAL SAFETY SHOULD
ALWAYS BE THE TOP PRIORITY, SO ALWAYS FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS AND
ORDERS OF THE LOCAL OR STATE OFFICIALS AT YOUR DESTINATION.

THE FOLLOWING STORM SURGE SAFETY ACTIONS SHOULD BE PRACTICED WHEN
TRAVELING TO COASTAL DESTINATIONS DURING HURRICANE MONTHS:

MINIMIZE THE DISTANCE THAT YOU NEED TO REACH A SAFE LOCATION. THE
FURTHER YOU DRIVE, THE HIGHER THE LIKELIHOOD THAT YOU WILL ENCOUNTER
SIGNIFICANT TRAFFIC DELAYS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE ONCE AN
EVACUATION ORDER HAS BEEN GIVEN. MAP OUT A ROUTE THAT YOU WILL
FOLLOW. DO NOT GET ON THE ROADWAY WITHOUT A PLANNED ROUTE WHICH
SHOULD INCLUDE EVACUATION ROUTES THAT HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED BY
AUTHORITIES.

CHOOSE A DESTINATION LOCATION AHEAD OF TIME THAT WILL BE OUTSIDE OF
THE EVACUATION ZONE. IF THIS LOCATION IS WITH FRIENDS OR
FAMILY MEMBERS, IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO DISCUSS YOUR PLAN WITH THEM
WHILE PLANNING YOUR VACATION. YOU CAN ALSO CHOOSE A HOTEL/MOTEL OR
A DESIGNATED PUBLIC SHELTER AREA OUTSIDE OF THE VULNERABLE REGION.

CONTACT LOCAL OFFICIALS IN YOUR DESTINATION CITY IF YOU OR ANY MEMBER
OF YOUR PARTY MAY REQUIRE SPECIAL ASSISTANCE IN ORDER TO EVACUATE. BE
SURE TO DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME.

ONCE AN EVACUATION ORDER HAS BEEN GIVEN, PLAN TO LEAVE AS QUICKLY AS
POSSIBLE. BY WAITING, YOU WILL GREATLY INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF
BEING STUCK IN TRAFFIC, OR EVEN WORSE, NOT BEING ABLE TO LEAVE THE
AREA AT ALL.

ALWAYS STAY TUNED TO LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS OR YOUR NOAA WEATHER RADIO
WHILE TRAVELING.

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK CONTINUES ON TUESDAY WHEN WE WILL FOCUS
OUR ATTENTION ON THE HIGH WINDS AND TORNADOES ASSOCIATED WITH
TROPICAL SYSTEMS. HISTORICALLY, THESE HAZARDS HAVE HAD A SIGNIFICANT
IMPACT ACROSS CENTRAL ALABAMA...BECOME EDUCATED ON THESE HAZARDS
DURING PREPAREDNESS WEEK.

FOR ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL OR PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION, YOU
CAN VISIT THESE SITES ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE, ALABAMA
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/MOB

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV
WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/HAW2/ENGLISH/INTRO.SHTML

FEMA
WWW.FEMA.GOV/AREYOUREADY/HURRICANES.SHTM

AMERICAN RED CROSS
WWW.REDCROSS.ORG/SERVICES/DISASTERS

NOAA COASTAL SERVICES CENTER - HISTORICAL HURRICANE TRACKS
HTTP://MAPS.CSC.NOAA.GOV/HURRICANES

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