In Focus Alert: Extreme Weather
August 24, 2020
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / GULF COAST
FPI sources are reporting that two tropical depression systems developing in the Atlantic are scheduled to make landfall at hurricane strength on the southern Florida Peninsula and the Gulf Coast as early as Monday, 24 August 2020. The pair of tropical systems are both on a path that would take them into the Gulf Coast at the same time over the weekend. Tropical Storm Laura and Tropical Storm Marco have nearly the entire Gulf Coast on alert for potential impacts, and they could become the first pair of systems to be in this part of the Atlantic Basin at the same time in decades.
Tropical Storm Laura developed in the Atlantic just a couple of hundred miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands on Friday morning with maximum sustained speeds of 45 mph. Laura is projected to bring tropical storm conditions as it moves along with the potential for more significant conditions, depending on the exact track and strength of the feature itself. The storm is forecasted to affect people across the northern islands of the Caribbean, as well as the Turks and Caicos, southern Bahamas, the Florida Keys and the southern part of the Florida Peninsula.
Tropical Storm Marco formed about 180 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, and had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with a north-northwest movement at 13 mph. Heavy rain and gusty winds will continue to spread into the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula as the storm heads northwest this weekend into the Gulf of Mexico. Damaging winds are also expected, especially in exposed windward locations like coastal areas around and north of the center of the storm. These areas are most likely to be impacted by destructive onshore winds. Should the storm remain stronger, these areas could also experience coastal flooding.
Travelers and residents along the western Gulf Coast of the U.S. should keep a close eye on the system's strength and forecast track and make storm preparations now before landfall. Residents and travelers in possible affected areas are advised to continue practicing social distancing and safe hygiene measures as well as to stay away from the beach, water bodies, move to higher ground, follow local media sources for updates, and monitor the status of flights.
In the event of a hurricane, please take the following precautions.
BEFORE A HURRICANE:
DURING A HURRICANE:
- Have a disaster plan.
- Board up windows.
- Bring in outdoor objects that could blow away.
- Know where all the evacuation routes are.
- Prepare a disaster supplies kit for your home and car. Have enough food and water for at least 3 days. Include a first aid kit, canned food and a can opener, bottled water, battery-operated radio, flashlight, protective clothing and written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water.
- Have some cash handy. Following a hurricane, banks and ATMs may be temporarily closed.
- Make sure your car is filled with gasoline.
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
AFTER A HURRICANE:
- Stay away from low-lying and flood prone areas.
- Always stay indoors during a hurricane as strong winds will blow things around.
- Leave mobile homes and to go to a shelter.
- If your home isn’t on higher ground, go to a shelter.
- If emergency managers say to evacuate, then do so immediately.
- Stay indoors until it is safe to come out.
- Check for injured or trapped people, without putting yourself in danger.
- Watch out for flooding which can happen after a hurricane.
- Do not attempt to drive in flooding water.
- Stay away from standing water. It may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Don’t drink tap water until officials say it’s safe to do so.
FocusPoint International is monitoring this developing situation. FocusPoint’s Crisis Response Center is prepared to provide assistance 24/7. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any time, day or night.
CRC / BAG / BJN / ONO
22 August 18:32 (UTC)