Help your neighbor, avoid rogue messages
Many Americans rely on their neighbors after a disaster, but there are also ways you can help your neighbors before a hurricane approaches. Learn about all the different actions you and your neighbors can take to prepare and recover from the hazards associated with hurricanes. Start the conversation now with Neighbor Helping Neighbor strategies but remember you may need to adjust your preparedness plans based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.
Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate and FEMA places tremendous value on communities that embrace a local "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" approach. Neighbors Helping Neighbors empowers community leaders to involve and educate individuals from their community about simple steps one can take to become more prepared. 46% of individuals expect to rely on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster.
The Neighbor Helping Neighbor approach seeks to support state, tribal and local agencies, civic organizations, faith-based groups and other community organizations that serve the whole community.
You can get involved with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program, which educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area. The program trains people in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
Being a good neighbor is not just about physical assistance. In our increasingly technological times, being a good neighbor can mean being digitally responsible as well. Communication is crucial during hurricane season—especially when a storm threatens. Studies have shown that clear and consistent messages result in a better understanding of the forecast. For that reason, the WBRZ Weather Team and NOAA’s National Hurricane Center work in tandem to deliver official statements from the most skilled tropical forecasters in the United States.
Be wary of sources that go rogue or issue their own statements ahead of the official word from NOAA. DO NOT share these. A single forecast model images that shows a doomsday scenario in your home state is likely just one of dozens of potential outcomes. Especially when storms are days away from landfall, these types of social media messages are a very bad idea. Again, please DO NOT share these.
Sharing irresponsible weather information from a variety of sources can send mixed messages to your family, friends and neighbors leading them into questionable decision- making. Good information sources will be consistent with one another so that you are left with no confusion about the forecast or the proper actions to take. The WBRZ Weather Team works with the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service to provide information regarding specific expected impacts from the storm for the local area. Emergency managers will make the decisions regarding evacuations.
The WBRZ Weather Team has invested in technology to be sure that you get an accurate and official word, the moment it is issued. We are proud to be the first weather team in the Baton Rouge area to have that capability. Here are some bulletins you may see from the WBRZ Weather Team during the tropical season:
Tropical Outlooks are issued when an area in the tropics has a chance of further development. At this stage, you should periodically check in with the WBRZ Weather Team for updates.
Advisories are issued for depressions and named storms. These come out at least every six hours at 4 and 10. Advisories provide the storm position, maximum sustained winds, minimum central pressure and current motion. To assess the progress of the system and possible impacts to the United States, you should check in frequently check in with the WBRZ Weather Team on social media for new information the moment it is released.
Watches and Warnings are issued when storm impacts are possible or even probable. You should check in with the WBRZ Weather Team for a constant stream of information on all platforms. Begin to take action on the hurricane plan you put together before the season.
Additionally, there are a number of National Weather Service “products” you may hear throughout the season. Much like understanding the difference between a watch and a warning in severe weather, you should understand what these terms and products mean as well.
Storm Surge Watch: There is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours. If you are under a storm surge watch, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.
Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
Throughout hurricane season, check in with the largest team of meteorologists in the Baton Rouge area. WBRZ Weather is with you on channel 2, digital channel 2.2, wbrz.com/weather, the WBRZ WX app., Facebook, Twitter and the WBRZ Cable Weather Channel. For the latest bulletins in the Capital City, please keep up with us on social media.
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