One needn't be a historian to understand the potential dangers hurricanes present every time they make landfall. Even "smaller" storms can cause a lot of damage. While there's nothing anyone can do to stop a hurricane, you can reduce some of the anxiety associated with Mother Nature's violent outbursts by preparing for them ahead of time. To that end, we've assembled some useful links that may come in handy throughout the rest of hurricane season. Remember, it's not officially over until December 1.
Keep tabs on the storm
Based in Miami, the National Hurricane Center (operated by the National Weather Service) keeps tabs on all active storms through their life cycles -- tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes. While commercial meteoroligical sites like Weather.com, AccuWeather and Weather Underground are excellent sources for news, forecasts, blogs, and the like, if you want the nitty-gritty details, bookmark the NHC and check it frequently. All those watches and warnings are being generated directly from there.
If you live in a region where storms (or other violent weather) are not uncommon occurences, you should consider getting a weather radio. While there are different types, an emergency crank radio like the Eton FR300 (*Est. $50) could come in handy if you're forced to evacuate. It's portable and its built-in crank generator can even be used to recharge your mobile phone in a pinch.
On the topic of mobile phones, if you own a smartphone and use a third-party radio app, it may already have weather band and police/emergency scanner support as well. We have firsthand experience with WunderRadio on the iPhone, which includes National Weather Service Weather Radio and a varierty of different scanner services.
Ready.gov has a dedicated page on hurricanes that you should visit if you're looking for a solid guide on what to do to prepare your family and home for a storm. Basically, they break it down into three key components:
Reviews of related products
We've already mentioned weather radios, and ConsumerSearch also has comprehensive reports and reviews on a wide variety of products that you may want to include in your preparedness inventory for before, during and after a storm.
Here's a small sampling. We'll scour all our review categories and provide a more comprehensive list in a separate post.: