On the upswing to the peak of hurricane season, be prepared - not panicked

On the upswing to the peak of hurricane season, be prepared - not panicked

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Hurricane season began June 1, but it's August when most people really start to pay attention. As families enjoy the last gasp of summer before school starts, many also steel themselves for what some find the most stressful part of hurricane season.

"Right now it's like a daily thing. Especially if you hear something about a tropical wave or something coming from that area," Theresa Kelley said.

Kelley likes to stay informed.

"I might not watch it like morning, noon and night, but once it starts getting to the islands like coming across Cuba and all that, that's when I really start paying a lot of attention," she said.

We are nearing what is traditionally the most active period in the tropics, where wave after wave line up to make the transatlantic voyage.

"I'm always concerned about it," Vern Parker said. "When they come off of Africa, you don't know which way they are going to go."

For some, just the mention of a potential storm is cause for concern.

"My ears perk up a little bit when I see things coming off of Africa," Keith Abel said. "I see one coming now."

While it's important to be aware. We also want you to have a little perspective. Each year, hundreds of these waves move out over the open water, but very few become tropical storms and even fewer actually make landfall.

"There's certainly no reason to be nervous right now," said FOX 8 Chief Meteorologist David Bernard. "What we have happening off of Africa is totally to be expected as we head into the month of August."

Parker has that mindset.

"I'm not going to let it paralyze me and sit in front of the TV all day watching the weather forecast," he said.

"There's thousands of miles and thousands of hours between here and there," Abel said. "I want to know it's there, but right now I want to know if it's going to rain in the afternoon to cool it off or if all it is is hot."

With so much information, it's easy to be hyper sensitive.

"My doctor tells me not to Google what might be wrong with me," Bernard said. "He calls that Dr. Google. The same thing applies to hurricanes and meteorology. It's good to get all the information you can, but in order to interpret it and make wise decisions you need to rely on the experts."

Kelley is comfortable with that.

"I think our weather casters here, our newscasters here are just so in tuned with hurricanes, that they just have to all basically be an expert," she said. "That's just a fact of life when you live in New Orleans."

In the coming weeks we will talk more about the tropics and we will alert you if the time comes. Until then, these waves are just another reminder to stay prepared.

Although several tropical storms moved through the Gulf in recent years, the last hurricane was Ingrid in September 2013. As of today that ties the longest Gulf hurricane drought on record.

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