Friday, May 24, 2013

Episode 163 (5-27-13): Get Ready for the Atlantic Tropical Storm Season

Click to listen to episode (3:34).


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of Memorial Day.

This week, we feature sounds for storm preparedness.  To start, have a listen for about 35 seconds and see if you can guess which natural disaster prompted this recording.


If you guessed Hurricane Irene, you’re right!  Rain from that storm in August 2011 is the background of this recording by Jake Wildwood.  The Atlantic tropical storm season officially runs from June 1 through November 30.  But nature doesn’t always follow the official season—2012’s first two named storms, Alberto and Beryl, arrived in May.  On average, 12 named storms and six hurricanes occurred each year between 1980 and 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, or Caribbean Sea, according to the National Hurricane Center.

What can you do to prepare for tropical storm events?  Here’s some advice from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

VDEM Public Service Announcement (30 seconds).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers some additional tips to prepare for tropical storms.  First, have an evacuation plan.  As a storm approaches, listen for National Weather Service updates.  If you shelter in your house, stay in an interior, windowless room on the lowest level.  Once a storm has passed, seek out disaster relief instructions, continue to watch for flooding, and be alert for downed power lines, gas leaks, and other hazards.

Finally, if you need to stock up on emergency supplies, Virginia’s annual Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday takes place during the last week of May.  A variety of storm-preparation items are exempt from the Commonwealth’s sales tax during this period. 

Thanks to Heather Vereb for helping develop this week’s episode, and to Jake Wildwood for permission to use this week’s music.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


Hurricane Sandy, 12:15 p.m. EDT, 10/29/12; Photo from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Web site,, accessed 10/29/12, 1:20 p.m.

“Goodnight Irene” is an American folk song of unknown origins.  Jake Wildwood performed this version, accessed at in May 2012 and used with permission.  The Virginia Department of Emergency Management public service announcement used in this episode can be found at (as of 5/23/13).

This episode of Virginia Water Radio was used previously for Episode 112 (week of 5/28/12), which has been archived.

Sources: Information for this episode, and many other tips on hurricane preparedness, can be accessed from the following sources: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ( and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (  Details regarding the hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday can be found at  The annual Atlantic hurricane outlook, issued each May, is available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric  Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, online at  Reports on tropical storms as they occur are available from the National Hurricane Center at

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