It’s June 1st, and that signals the official start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Never mind that parts of the country extending from the deep South to areas in and around Lake Michigan have already experienced high winds and heavy rains from Alberto (the first named storm of the season). Or, that forecasters including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are now estimating ten to 16 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes. And that one to four of those storms could be categorized as “major,” with sustained winds of 111 mph or more. These numbers could add up to serious trouble if your organization’s preparedness plans haven’t been reviewed or updated in a while. Enter BOLDplanning.

The Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Continuity of Operations/Government Plans (COOPs/COGs) of many BOLDplanning customers include hazard actions that address severe weather events like hurricanes. And rightly so when you consider last year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season produced 17 named storms, of which ten became hurricanes. Of those ten, six were categorized as “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5). Plus, 2017 was the first year for two major hurricanes to hit the continental U.S. in 12 years. Who can forget the images from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma? Or Hurricane Maria, which all but destroyed Puerto Rico?

It’s important to note that in addition to the Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. An 80 percent chance of a near- or above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of 14 to 20 named storms, of which seven to 12 are expected to become hurricanes, including three to seven major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70-percent probability of three to six tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes.

NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season. The season runs through November 30th.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is long and it’s expected to be an active one. If you’ve not done so already, review your COOP or EOP now. And, keep that Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) handy too. If your area is actually impacted by a hurricane and there’s a disaster declaration, you’ll certainly want those precious FEMA dollars to fund the mitigation projects identified in your plan.

As always, the BOLDplanning team wants you to be better prepared for this (and future) hurricane seasons. And the company is uniquely qualified to help as it has served the preparedness planning needs of state and local emergency management agencies, public safety organizations, schools and universities, and private companies since 2004. This includes many along the shores of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Coast. Today, the company offers online planning platforms and consulting expertise for the development of COOPs/COGs, EOPs and HMPs. In fact, BOLDplanning announced just this week the completion of its 10,000th preparedness plan!

BOLDplanning also offers comprehensive plan exercise and training programs to ensure organizational readiness. These exercises, ranging from tabletop to full-scale, are facilitated by internationally accredited Certified Business Continuity Planners (CBCP), Certified Healthcare Professional Continuity Planners (CHPCP), FEMA certified continuity professionals, Master Exercise Practitioners (MEPs) and IAEM Certified Emergency Managers (CEM).

If you feel your COOP, EOP or HMP is lacking (or even non-existent), contact BOLDplanning today. Just call 615.469.5558 or email for a no-obligation discussion of your organization’s planning needs. Be prepared. Be BOLD. And most importantly, be safe!