Tropical Cyclones Threaten Atlantic and Pacific Islands
Hurricane Gonzalo Approaching Bermuda
According to the most recent advisory from the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC), Tropical Cyclone Gonzalo is at hurricane strength and moving toward Bermuda at 8 knots (about 9.2 mph). While various computer models (WU) typically show divergent paths for storms, all models agree that Gonzalo will stay approximately on its current track until it passes over Bermuda. The current Public Advisory from (NHC) for Gonzalo indicates that a Hurricane Warning is in effect for (all of) Bermuda, and states that sustained winds are now near 145 mph (230 kilometers/hour). The Advisory warns of winds, storm surge, rainfall, and life-threatening surf, not only when the storm reaches Bermuda, but in numerous other island groups and the east coast of the United States. (Access the PDC Global Hazards Atlas to stay informed.)
Hawaii Braces for Tropical Storm Ana
According to the most recent advisory from the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC), issued at 11 a.m. Hawaii time, a Tropical Cyclone Watch has been issued for Tropical Cyclone Ana covering the Big Island (Hawaii County) and the leeward waters of Maui County. Although the storm’s track is shifting south (less threatening to the islands), forecasts change and, in any case, areas under watch now or in future advisories are likely to experience tropical storm conditions within 36-48 hours as well as significant coastal surges. The rainfall and surges both represent threats of flooding and/or flash flooding, as well, which may impact any or all of the Hawaiian islands. The counties have been issuing important bulletins and information releases to citizens. For instance, Maui County has issued a preparedness message that residents across the state would be well advised to read. (Access the PDC Global Hazards Atlas to stay informed.)
Islands Face Special Problems
Islands experience different, and perhaps more difficult challenges when threatened by hazards than continental land masses. Being surrounded by water means that supplies and aid cannot be trucked in, and conditions may prevent both planes and boats from making deliveries. Islands are also remote locations, whether by a few miles (as, say, with Catalina Island in California) or thousands of miles (as is the case for Hawaii). The result is that needed supplies and assistance may take hours or days to arrive after disaster strikes. Also, as islands are by definition small land masses, this often means that the entire area is at risk at the same time. So, sheltering seldom involves leaving the area under a warning since every place a family might be able to go is under the same warning.
All of these special circumstances underscore, for islanders, the absolute necessity of personal and family preparedness. Both NOAA and PDC encourage everyone to be prepared for possible emergencies. The time to assemble or recheck and update your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan is now, not when a hurricane is already impacting your island. PDC has information about developing a Family Disaster Plan and offers a customizable Disaster Supply Kit checklist on its website (PDC).
Current Hazard Warnings
Drought: United States, Hispaniola
Biomedical: West Africa
Tropical Storm: Caribbean (Gonzalo)
Wildfire: United States (California, Oregon)
Flood: South Sudan, Central America including Guatemala, Australia (NSW), and United States (Midwest)
For real-time information on current disasters download PDC’s free Disaster Alert mobile app available for your iOS or Android devices today! Also be sure to monitor PDC on Twitter, Facebook, and by accessing the Global Hazards Atlas.