Georgia Should Prepare For Stronger Hurricanes And Storms

Matt Lillywhite

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Storm over Georgia and the southeastern United StatesNOAA

Hurricanes and storms in Georgia (and around the United States) are expected to become more powerful over the coming decades due to climate change. "We have good confidence that greenhouse warming increases the maximum wind intensity that tropical cyclones can achieve," said Jim Kossin during an interview with CNN. "This, in turn, allows for the strongest hurricanes - which are the ones that create the most risk by far - to become even stronger."

According to NASA, "Human activities (primarily the burning of fossil fuels) have fundamentally increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, warming the planet. Natural drivers, without human intervention, would push our planet toward a cooling period." And since hurricanes rely on warm waters to gain strength, it's easy to see why experts believe storms will become more powerful due to climate change.

Another concern is hurricanes getting stronger on land due to global warming. "Over the past 50 years, the time it takes for hurricanes to dissipate on the coast has almost doubled," per the BBC. "Researchers say that climate change gives the storms more energy, which continues to power them over land. The scientists involved say that this will likely make hurricanes more damaging further inland in years to come." So, many towns throughout the state of Georgia could someday experience stronger hurricanes and storms due to climate change.

According to the CDC, it's a good idea to prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms before they arrive. You can start today by taking the following precautions:

  • Get emergency supplies: Regularly stock your home and your car with supplies that can be used in the event of an emergency. Food, water, and medicine should be a priority. It's also a good idea to have face masks and hand sanitizers if you're in close contact with other people.
  • Make a plan: Create a family disaster plan in case you get separated. For example, you might decide to stay with loved ones in another state that's not in the path of an approaching storm.
  • Prepare to evacuate: Heavy rain from storms can produce urban flooding. If you are told to evacuate by local authorities, do not stay home to protect your property.
  • Protect your pets: Ensure your pets have adequate food, water, and shelter. If you are going to stay at an emergency shelter, check to see if they allow animals.
  • Check-in on neighbors and loved ones whenever you get an opportunity. However, the CDC recommends following social distancing guidance (staying at least 6 feet from others) to protect yourself and others.

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