May 6-11 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Do you know what to do if a storm watch or warning is issued for your area?
Like any natural disaster, hurricanes can strike at any time, though they’re most common between June and November. If you live anywhere near a coastline, having a few key emergency supplies handy and having a plan can mean the difference between life and death.
There’s more good news. Although the United States has been hit by a few devastating hurricanes in recent memory — the Texas coast is still recovering from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 — a deep dive into historical data shows no statistically significant increase in the number or intensity of hurricanes. Neither has the percentage of the U.S. under of extreme wet or dry conditions changed.
That’s not all — climate-related deaths have decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. Though they still represent significant threats to society, deaths due to flood, drought, storms, wildfires, and extreme temperatures are down 97%!
Despite the world’s population quadrupling in the last century, annual deaths due to climate-related disasters have fallen from nearly 500,000 to 20,000.
This data invalidates rumors circulated online about the role of climate change in natural disasters. While global temperatures are rising slightly (as they have fluctuated as far back as science can project), people are also becoming more resilient thanks to higher awareness and faster, earlier reporting of storm progression.
Thanks to our ability to stay informed through the news and social media, acquire emergency supplies, and evacuate quickly when needed — all of which require reliable and affordable energy — natural disasters now pose less of a threat to humanity than any other time in our history.
There’s no evidence to suggest that climate change is causing mass destruction.
This Hurricane Preparedness Week, visit the National Weather Service’s hurricane safety website to learn how you can be ready.
Katie Tahuahua is Life:Powered’s communications manager. She previously served in two gubernatorial administrations and the Texas House of Representatives.