Practice Makes Perfect: Louisiana the 2nd Most Prepared State for Hurricanes
Jun 16 2021

Practice Makes Perfect: Louisiana the 2nd Most Prepared State for Hurricanes

By: Gigi Halpern

There is no greater attraction for hurricanes than the swampy wetlands of Louisiana. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Louisiana has had a total of 58 hurricanes (with a total of 18 major hurricanes) directly hit its coast from 1851-2020. Louisiana's number of major hurricanes puts it in 3rd place in the country, behind Florida and Texas.

And with hurricanes come storm surges! Such surges are considered the most damaging and can often result in death. They are formed by high winds and low pressures of a hurricane, which push a huge amount of water onto land. These storms surges often affect coastlines and run along rivers, bays, and estuaries. One of the top metro areas at risk of storm surges includes the city of New Orleans. One of the major reasons New Orleans is at high risk of storm surges is because of the city's naturally low elevation, which is actually below sea level, as well as the disappearing wetlands outside of the city.

Each year, the Atlantic hurricane season usually begins around June 1 and extends through the end of November. Another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is predicted this year by NOAA. 2021 is predicted to have a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. It is also likely that 13 to 20 named storms could develop along with six to 10 of those becoming hurricanes, and three to five of those becoming major hurricanes. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico make this year's hurricane forecast especially scary for Louisiana.

Because the state so often falls victim to direct hits, it is no wonder Louisiana is ranked the 2nd most prepared state for hurricane response by The ranking is based on the number of National Guard members per capita, as they are usually the first responders, and the amount of money a state sets aside in their budget to handle the usual problems associated with hurricanes: wind damage, rain, flooding, and power loss to communities. It is said that practice makes perfect, although disaster response is not necessarily something you hope to be at the top of the charts for.

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