Marine Corps Logistics Base ALBANY Ga. --
Although the hurricane season officially begins Friday, the Atlantic basin has seen its earliest-forming tropical storms on record.
Tropical Storm Alberto developed off the Southeast coast May 19 and TS Beryl developed off the coast of Florida May 27.
Only two other years in recorded history have there been two storms of tropical storm strength before June 1.
Tropical Storm Beryl is also the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in the U.S. prior to June 1, according to the website www.weather.com.
With this recent development, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials are keeping a close watch on the weather in both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane season will last until Nov. 31.
“We check the weather daily throughout the hurricane season,” said Bob James, Operations and Training Division deputy director, MCLB Albany. “We watch for storm development off the coast of Africa and we keep a close eye on them as they cross over the Atlantic Ocean. We monitor storms that may threaten the South-eastern part of the U.S., especially if they may impac Marines, families and Civilian-Marines, who are stationed or work here.”
Located 116 miles from the Gulf Coast and 177 miles inland from the Atlantic Coast, MCLB Albany is still at risk for destructive weather from hurricanes.
Storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico can potentially affect the installation and surrounding areas with storm surge, damaging winds, tornadoes and wetland flooding across Southwest Georgia.
“We’re prepared to respond to the needs of base personnel and their families if stormy weather strikes here,” said James. “Base personnel should be in contact with their supervisors to determine who is essential or non-essential for work scheduling.”
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center calls for a near or below average hurricane season in the Atlantic basin for 2012, according to a press release dated May 24.
For the entire six-month season, the center forecasts a 70 percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, with top winds of 39 mph or higher, of which four to eight are expected to become hurricanes with top winds of 74 mph or higher.
The center anticipates one to three will be major hurricanes, with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking category 3, 4 or 5.
“Now is the time to prepare,” said Chuck Lineback, emergency manager, MCLB Albany. “Each resident and employee of the installation should plan what to do in the event of destructive weather.”
According to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, research conducted by Ready Georgia in 2011 reveals that many people have not performed crucial activities that will help them prepare for destructive weather such as compiling an emergency kit for the car or purchasing a NOAA weather radio to warn of advancing threats. Another 67 percent have not arranged a family meeting place or reconnection plan.
“When preparing for the hurricane season, consider those with special needs, the elderly and pets,” said Lineback. “Make sure you have medication with the proper labels and basic necessities for several days. Also, pet owners need to remember not all shelters will take pets.”
For more information on how to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather, call 229-639-5746 or visit the following web sites www.ready.ga.gov or www.ready.ga.gov/Prepare/Georgia-Pets or www.redcross.org.
Disaster supply kit
* Water - one gallon daily per person for three to seven days
* Food - enough for three to seven days:
— non-perishable packaged/canned food and a non-electric can opener
— cooking tools/paper plates/plastic utensil fuel
— snacks/food for infants and elderly
* Blankets/pillows, etc.
* Clothing - seasonal/rain gear/shoes
* First aid kit/prescription drugs
* Special items for babies and the elderly
* Toiletries/hygiene items/moisture wipes
* Radio - battery-operated weather radio
* Telephone - a fully-charged cell phone with extra batteries and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
* Cash (with some small bills) and credit cards - banks and automated teller machines may not be available for extended periods
* Fill vehicle fuel tanks
* Toys, books and games
* Important documents - put in a waterproof container or watertight, resealable plastic bag:
—insurance, social security card, etc.
—medical records, bank account numbers
* Tools - keep a set near during the storm
* Pet care items:
— proper identification/ immunization records/medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage/muzzle and leash