Bermuda has escaped the impact of a major hurricane for several years now, but memories of Fabian in 2003 teaches us that we can’t be complacent.
While we have avoided a direct hit in the past eight years, the island has received side swipes, most recently a brush with Hurricane Igor in 2010.
Hurricane season officially starts today, June 1, and will run until November 30.
While forecasters seem to concur that we are in for a quieter season this year, the late appearance of Tropical Storm Sean last November and the early arrival of Tropical Storm Alberto this year show that anything can happen.
Meteorologists may be predicting fewer storms in 2012 but they are also warning that it only takes one to bring disaster.
The message is: Don’t have a false sense of security and become complacent. The time to start making your hurricane preparations is now.
Make sure you have all the supplies you need on hand and discuss an action plan with your family.
In this Hurricane Awareness supplement we aim to bring you all the latest forecasts and advice on how to keep your loved ones safe and secure.
Inside, you can find the forecasts from AccuWeather.com, Bill Gray and Phil Klotzbach from Colorado State University, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
We talk to Dan Kottlowski, expert senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com, to discuss the seasonal forecast and how this affects Bermuda.
We also speak to the team at the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre (BMOC) to find out how they protect us in times of stormy weather.
There is an abundance of advice on how to prepare a hurricane kit, and how to look after your pet.
We also interview Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), on why taping your windows may do more harm than good.
Also featured are the team at Godet & Young Hardware Ltd, who have been looking after the residents of the east end for more than 70 years.
If you are looking to protect your home, garden, business or boat, the St George’s shop has all the supplies you need.
In this supplement, the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office also explains why it is important to hold onto your British passport.
BELCO describes how it keeps the island’s vegetation in trim to keep our power on.
And if you are looking at alternative power, Travis Burland of Bermuda Engineering Company Ltd explains how solar systems can withstand the force of hurricanes.
It is easy to fear the worst when a major storm starts bearing down on Bermuda, but as long as you are prepared, you will stay safe.
But don’t get complacent — start your preparations now.