Hurricane season could be one of the worst on record, so make sure you have plans in place!

30 May 2024- With multiple weather forecasting services and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) predicting an exceptionally active 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) urges residents to begin their preparations now. “The NOAA 2024 hurricane forecast calls for more storms than ever before and it is important that all Marylanders take preparations seriously,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland, “High winds, storm surge, tidal and inland flooding can all be deadly consequences of hurricanes and tropical storms.”

NOAA’s outlook, which spans from June 1 to November 30, predicts an 85-percent chance of an above-normal season, a ten-percent chance of a near-normal season, and a five-percent chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are predicted to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges.

The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have above-normal activity due to a confluence of factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Niña conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds, and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.

Here are some additional considerations while planning for hurricanes and other hazards:

  • Plan now! Do not wait until the peak of hurricane season.
  • Pay attention to emergency information and alerts.
  • Determine your best protection for high winds and flooding.
  • Unless you live in an evacuation zone, make a plan to shelter-in-place if it is safe to do so.
  • If you are ordered to evacuate, make a plan with friends or family to shelter with them where you will be safer and more comfortable.
  • Check with local authorities for the latest information about public evacuation shelters.
  • Only use outdoor generators that are at least 20 feet away from your home and away from windows, doors, and vents.
  • If you have pets, make a plan for them, including knowing which hotels are pet-friendly.
  • Never walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

For more information about hurricane preparedness, including sample emergency plans and supply kit information, please visit MDEMFEMA, the National Weather Service, and the American Red Cross.