Labor Day weekend is a time for a lot of people to head out on fun and relaxing vacations and celebrate the last “official” days of summer. Here, it’s historically a time we find ourselves at our busiest. Labor Day lies right smack dab in the middle of peak hurricane season—and if you’re like us and have been following the forecasts, you might know a little bit about what’s on our radars.
Right now, we’re following several different storms forecast to hit two vastly different areas: the Big Island of Hawaii and the Big Bend of Florida. (For those of us who aren’t Florida residents, that’s the area of along the state’s west coast south of the Panhandle.)
The eighth named storm of the year in the Atlantic, Hermine, is heading Florida’s way. For much of the storm’s life, it was known simply as TD9, an intimidating combination of letters and numbers. According to the forecast models, it should hit Florida’s western coast on Friday, just as many people would be heading out on their trips. (As we all know, forecasts can change quickly—so we’ve been keeping close tabs on the reports coming from the National Hurricane Center’s office in Miami.)
The two storms in the Pacific, Lester and Madeline, are imposing figures looming to the east of Hawaii’s tropical scenery. While Lester formed first, Madeline formed further west and is first in line to impact the islands later this week. Two hurricanes forecast to hit the Big Island in quick succession. We’re ready. We’ve prepositioned one of our Incident Management Assistance Teams on the island to support the state’s response as well as sent up to 19 generators to help support in the case of any widespread power outages.
And while all that is happening, several fires are rapidly burning out west. From Oregon and Idaho to southern California, wildfires are charring thousands of acres of land. To help states combat these vicious blazes, we have been working with the affected states to issue fire management assistance grants and have done so for 36 fires so far this year. These grants help departments pay for vital services like staff and equipment so they have access to the resources they need.
It has been a very active wildfire season—and it’s far from over.
We’re also continuing our work to help Louisiana residents recover from the historic flooding that engulfed neighborhoods across the southern areas of the state earlier this month. Many of our staff are still on the ground working diligently to register affected residents for assistance.
And finally, we’re also getting ready for National Preparedness Month. Starting tomorrow, with the start of September, we’ll be working each week on a different theme to help communities prepare for disasters—whether they be hurricanes, wildfires, or flash floods.
While we’re working on all that, we hope that you’ll be getting prepared too. As we’ve been harping on all hurricane season long, it only takes one storm to change a community forever. Take a couple steps to get prepared now (like by downloading our really cool app for weather alerts and safety tips) and you’ll be more ready wherever you are—even if that’s on vacation.