Wild weather on the rise, preparation important

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ALEXANDRIA (KALB) – Extreme weather events are on the rise, and it is important to stay vigilant and prepared as hurricane season is upon us.

Hurricane Michael aftermath / Photo: ZUMA Press / Photo: CBS / (MGN)

In 2018, there were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events across the United States, with a total cost of $91 billion. These included devastating hurricanes, like Florence and Michael, baseball-sized hail storms, and California’s costliest, deadliest and largest wildfires in history.

So far this year, as of April 2019, there have already been extreme weather and natural disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included flooding in the Midwest, severe storms across the U.S., and destructive tornadoes. Alabama, for example, has already endured an above average number of tornadoes in the state.

June 1 brought the start of Hurricane Season in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Colorado State University is predicting at least five hurricanes with two potentially becoming major storms equating to a category three or higher.

The widespread threat of weather disasters stretches from coast to coast, so even if you don’t think you are in an area prone to a threat, it's important to be prepared for whatever weather event might strike.

"When you have an atmosphere that's even slightly warmer, that warmer air can hold more moisture and it can really help to make extreme weather events more intense more long lasting and more frequent," said Meteorologist and Author of "Extreme Weather" Bonnie Schneider. "Sea levels rise, flood risk, there's a lot of factors coming together as to why we're seeing this uptick in extreme weather."

Some of Bonnie’s tips include:
● Get together your basic disaster supplies which include things like a three-day supply of non-perishable food, three-day supply of water, photocopies of your credit cards and ID, and batteries.
● In case of loss of power, be sure that your electronics are fully charged as technology can provide key information during a disaster.
● Create a family disaster plan for everyone living inside your home, including how to evacuate people and pets.
● Be sure to check that you’re properly covered (and understand your insurance coverage) well before a disaster hits, otherwise it will be too late.
● Bundle home and auto insurance.
● Think out of the box – or out of the sky! Hail is becoming a bigger and bigger issue and it’s important to protect your property (and yourself), and make sure you have the right coverage if there is damage.

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