This blog explores a tough topic - how to prepare for hurricane season - and references the dangers of hurricanes. If you’re only interested in learning what size portable power station you need in your hurricane kit, and, for instance, if there’s a portable power station for a CPAP machine , you should skip to the latter part of the blog or head to our website.
Each year, the South Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico have the potential to experience hurricanes. These unyielding forces of nature are destructive, dangerous, and potentially devastating.
These huge storms are characterized by strong winds, heavy rainfall, and - what can be the most dangerous element - storm surges.
As the National Hurricane Center notes, “the official hurricane season for the Atlantic basin is from June 1 to November 30.” So we’re in the midst of potentially dangerous weather - and if a hurricane doesn’t come this year, there’s the potential for it to happen in the future.
It’s necessary to be prepared. Read on to learn more about hurricanes and storm surges, as well as how to prepare a hurricane kit (and what size portable power station you need for your kit).
How Do Hurricanes Form?
To properly prepare yourself and be able to respond to the threat of hurricanes, you need to understand how they form and build to an incredible 74+ mph wind speed.
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones that form over tropical waters where the ocean is over 80°F (27°C). This means they usually form in late summer and early fall. In short, evaporated water rises over the ocean, cools, and forms clouds, which then begin to spin around a central point due to winds. It will usually weaken once it reaches land and isn’t fed by moisture and wind.
Want to learn more? View this great YouTube video by NOAA SciJinks explaining how hurricanes form.
Several factors feed into the creation of a hurricane:
- Warm ocean water + moisture: This is why hurricanes form in the Gulf of Mexico! The warm water evaporates and hurricanes thrive on the moisture-laden air as it rises and cools, releasing latent heat and causing the storm to intensify. This can also be intensified by winds from the direction of Africa, which can cause more water to evaporate.
- Low-pressure system: Hurricanes need a low-pressure system to form. This can be triggered by changes in atmospheric pressure caused by tropical waves or weather patterns.
- Coriolis Effect: The Earth's rotation helps to spin the developing storm, causing it to rotate and potentially evolve into a hurricane.
Hurricanes go through different stages as they increase in intensity, from a tropical depression to a storm, before becoming a Category 1 hurricane (the weakest kind). There are 5 categories of hurricanes in total.
What is a Storm Surge?
One of the most dangerous elements of a hurricane is the storm surge. This occurs when the hurricane's strong winds and low-pressure systems cause a rapid rise in the sea level along the coast. Severe flooding can occur because the tide is higher than expected.
Storm surges can have devastating consequences. As the National Hurricane Center notes, over 1,500 people sadly lost their lives in 2005 either directly or indirectly because of the storm surge of Hurricane Katrina.
Storm Surge Potential Flood Area
As a resident somewhere likely to be hit by hurricanes, you must understand the storm surge potential flood area. Low-lying coastal regions, barrier islands and anywhere likely to be in the path of a hurricane are all more likely to experience severe storm surges.
In the US, cities like New Orleans, Louisiana and Miami, Florida are susceptible to flooding, as well as Houston, Texas. It’s important to have a robust evacuation plan and have a hurricane kit ready if you live in these areas (and those detailed below).
What are the top 5 States Expecting Hurricanes - and when?
While several states can experience hurricanes each year, some are more prone to experiencing natural disasters.
The top 5 states that are likely to experience hurricanes are:
- Florida, which has an extensive coastline. Cities such as Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville can be strongly affected by hurricanes.
- Texas, which lies along the Gulf of Mexico. Houston and Corpus Christi are likely to experience hurricanes - although Texas’ vast size means many cities can be affected.
- Louisiana has cities like New Orleans that lie below sea level and therefore are at risk. Hurricanes that make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico often affect here.
- North Carolina, where coastal regions including the Outer Banks can be severely affected by flooding.
- South Carolina, where cities such as Charleston and Myrtle Beach have hurricane threats.
For all of these areas, hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with a peak in mid-September.
How to Prepare Your Hurricane Kit
A hurricane kit is a collection of essential items you will need during a hurricane and any emergency that might result because of one. This will help you and your family to stay safe and healthy during the storm until it passes or further help comes.
Typical elements of a hurricane kit include:
- Non-perishable food. It’s vital you stock up on canned goods (with a means of opening them) as well as items like dried fruit and nuts. You should aim to have enough food to last you and everyone in your household at least 3 days - and longer, if you have the space.
- Water. Check to make sure that you have water for everyone in your household, again for at least 3 days. This should be in addition to any other drinks you might be stockpiling.
- First aid kit. You don’t know what might happen amid strong winds and heavy rain, so keeping a first aid kit handy is incredibly important. This is your regular reminder to make sure to check any medicines or goods in the kit haven’t expired!
- Sanitation and hygiene Items. Bars of soap, toilet paper, and supplies to keep your place sanitized are important.
- Cash and important documents. Keep your identity documents safe and easily accessible, as well as a non-digital form of cash.
- Sources of warmth. Whether that’s clothes, a sleeping bag, or a foil blanket, make sure you can stay warm.
- Emergency tools. This includes a whistle (to call for help) as well as pliers or any other tool that can help you turn off utilities.
- Backup power station. It’s important to have a reliable source of electricity that isn’t attached to the grid, so you can keep your phone charged and make sure you stay safe and comfortable (for instance, if you need to power a CPAP machine through the night).
What Size Portable Power Station Do I Need for Emergency Use?
To know the answer to this, you need to list the electricals that are important to keep going during a hurricane. For instance, you’ll need to keep your mobiles powered and potentially a radio to keep up to date with governmental news and evacuation warnings.
You might also need items like medical equipment and/or CPAP machines to sleep through the night. If this is the case, you need to make sure your portable power station can power the goods.
The safest way to do this is to get a portable power station that has expandable batteries. Then you can get hours of juice stored that will be able to keep your devices powered when you need them.
Dabbsson DBS2300 Plus + DBS3000B
The Dabbsson DBS2300 Plus and DBS3000B are impressive pieces to add to your kit. The DBS2300 Plus has a 2300Wh capacity (expandable up to 8330Wh with 2 of the DBS3000B) and gives a 2200W AC output (expandable to 4000W). One of the biggest expandable battery packs on the market, this expanded size can give you up to 6 days of power.
This means you can charge your phone up to 175 times and a smaller electrical device (like a 60W portable refrigerator) for 35 hours. It’s a brilliant addition to your hurricane kit.
If your home is potentially in the path of hurricanes, it’s important to make sure that you are prepared for every eventuality. A hurricane kit is necessary to keep you fed, watered and warm during the storm. And a key component is a portable power station to keep your vital electrical goods powered.
But what size portable power station do you need in your hurricane kit? We recommend at least 2300Wh capacity - but what’s more important is that it should have an expandable battery. That way you can work out the capacity of the portable power station you need to power your critical electricals, like a CPAP machine, and make sure you have enough electricity stored.
Dabbsson portable power stations with expandable battery packs like the DBS2300 and DBS3000B are available to keep you powered during difficult times, including hurricanes. Explore them today - and stay safe in hurricane season.