National Weather Service offers tips on how to prepare for a hurricane

HARTFORD --  It’s not hurricane season yet, but the national weather service is asking that people be ready for storms before they come.

Those of you on the shoreline know all too well how rough it can be when a tropical system makes landfall in our area. Storm names like Sandy, Irene and Gloria come to mind. So as we know, it’s not out of the ordinary for Connecticut to see these types of storms. The National Weather Service has designated this week as "Hurricane Preparedness Week."

The hurricane hunters have been making stops up and down the east coast this week, helping educate the public about how to be ready for hurricane season. They’re also teaming up with the American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help the public prepare.

The hurricane hunters have a job that many meteorologists are jealous of, literally flying large aircraft directly into hurricanes, dropping sensors along the way. As you can imagine, it gets a little bumpy on the way in. The information they’ve gathered, along with computer models from the national weather center, has led to a significant increase in hurricane forecast accuracy. There’s obviously still a long way to go, but they have really improved their track forecast.

The tropics are currently quiet, as hurricane season begins in June and runs through the end of November. Despite the big named storms like Sandy recently, New England itself is in a bit of a hurricane drought. There hasn’t been a hurricane landfall in New England since Bob came in 1991.

Irene was a tropical storm and Sandy technically wasn’t a hurricane. As for the rest of the east coast, a category three or higher hasn’t made landfall in over a decade.

Hopefully we don’t end the drought of major hurricanes in the U.S. this year, but it’s best to be prepared. The most important thing is to have a plan and keep your insurance if you live near the shoreline, especially right at the water. And if you’re inland, it may be wise to keep the trees in your yard trimmed, especially those that are dead or looming over your house.