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NOAA increases 2023 hurricane activity—how to prepare

There's still time to protect yourself and your home

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Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center have reclassified their prediction for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season from "near-normal" levels of hurricane activity to "above-normal." In May, the center predicted that there was a 30% chance that the season would have above-normal levels of activity; in August, this prediction rose to 60%. El Niño was expected to mitigate the formation of hurricanes, but atmospheric conditions such as record-high Atlantic water temperatures are believed to be counterbalancing its effect. The NOAA is now expecting there to be 14-21 named storms (which require winds of 39 mph or greater), 6-11 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), and 2-5 major hurricanes (111 mph or greater) by the end of the 2023 hurricane season.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, it’s understandable if you find this all a bit worrying. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare before a hurricane touches down in your area, giving you and your family peace of mind. After securing your house, make sure you have the supplies you need in case of a hurricane. Here are some products to consider having on hand for hurricane season.

When is hurricane season 2023?

Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30. While November hurricanes do form, they’re rare. The peak of hurricane season tends to last from late August to early October.

Safety products for hurricane season 2023

A flashlight

Flashlight against a green background
Credit: Reviewed/ Olight

Keep a flashlight handy just in case

If a hurricane takes out the power, you'll want a bright and long-lasting flashlight to help you navigate your house when it's dark. For this, we recommend Olight Baton 3 Premium Edition, the best flashlight we've tested. It's easy to use and lasts for a whopping 72 hours after a full charge. Keep in mind that it charges instead of being powered by disposable batteries, so you'll need to make sure it's ready to use before the power goes out. $65 from Amazon

An emergency radio

A yellow radio against a green background
Credit: Reviewed / Exosmile

Stay tuned for weather updates

Using an emergency radio will help you get important storm updates even when the power is out. Eoxsmile's emergency radio is the highest-rated option on Amazon. It comes with five power sources including solar power, hand crank power and AAA battery backup power. It also has a built-in flashlight, USB charger and SOS alarm. $32 from Amazon

A first aid kit

Red pouch with supplies such as bandaids and scissors coming out of the top set against a green background
Credit: Reviewed / Protect Life

Patch up injuries in a pinch

Accidents can happen during the confusion of an emergency. To prepare for them, you should keep a first aid kit handy. One of the best ones you can buy is Protect Life's 100-Piece first aid kit. It's compact, lightweight, holds all your essentials and is spacious enough to add additional supplies. $15 from Amazon

Bottled water

A case of water bottles behind a single disposable water bottle, both set against a green background
Credit: Reviewed / Pure Life

Stock up on bottled water in case your supply becomes compromised

Hurricanes carry the risk of cutting off or contaminating your tap water, making it unsafe to drink. In the case of contamination, government officials will post a water advisory. To ensure that you and your family have plenty of safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing, we recommend stocking up on bottled water before a hurricane. $15 from Amazon

A can opener

Can opener with black handles set against green background
Credit: Reviewed / EZ-DUZ-IT

To tap into your emergency supply of canned food, you'll need a can opener

Canned food is great to have during a power outage, as it has a long shelf life allowing you to store it well in advance and it typically doesn't need to be refrigerated. When you go to buy your canned goods in preparation for a hurricane, don't forget to buy a can opener while you're at it or your canned goods will be useless. Our favorite manual can opener is the EZ-DUZ-IT Deluxe Can Opener because it's easy to use, durable and affordable, too. $15 from Amazon

Rechargeable batteries

Package of AAA batteries against green background
Credit: Reviewed / Energizer

Why get regular batteries when you can get rechargeable ones?

Many of the devices you'll want during a power outage may require batteries to operate. Whether you're using a radio or flashlight, you'll want to make sure to have a supply of quality batteries on hand to ensure your devices last for as long as you need. Of the ones we've tested, the best rechargeable AA batteries are the Energizer Recharge Universal. These batteries have the best price-performance balance and can handle 1,000 recharge cycles. $28 from Amazon

A generator

Blue portage generable against green background
Credit: Reviewed / Westinghouse

A generator can supply backup power in no time.

With a portable generator, you'll be able to keep key appliances running after the power goes out. Just make sure to take proper safety precautions and operate the generator outdoors in a dry area. Just make sure to operate a generator outdoors in a dry area. One of the best generators you can buy is the Westinghouse WGen9500DF thanks to its high wattage and dual fuel options. $999 from Amazon

A portable charger

Black portage charger against green background
Credit: Reviewed / Mophie

Keep phones and other small devices charged with a power bank

For smaller devices, such as phones, a portable battery will have enough power to keep them charged throughout an outage. The best power bank we've tested is the Mophie Powerstation PD thanks to its compact size, high power capacity, its ability to charge two phones at once and its quick charge times. $35 from Amazon


Thick blue straw against green background
Credit: Reviewed / Lifestraw

Lifestraw provides water filtration on the go

Lifestraw is a portable filter that you can use to safely drink water that's been contaminated by bacteria. It's a good option if you're under a boil water advisory and don't have access to either a burner or bottled water. Beyond use in emergency situations, it's a handy device to bring camping, hiking or traveling. $12 from Amazon

A portable stove

Black small portable stove against green background
Credit: Reviewed / Coleman

A portable stove will provide you with a way to cook phone even if the power's out

To cook canned goods and other food when the power is down, we recommend using a portable stove. A great portable stove to use is Coleman's Portable Butane Stove, which has over 7,800 five-star reviews on Amazon. Buyers love the stove's ease of use, quick heating and value. When using a portable stove, always remember to operate it outside only. $35 from Amazon

A surge protector

White power strip with curled chord against green background
Credit: Reviewed / GE

Protect your devices from storm surges with a surge protector

While storms such as hurricanes have a propensity for knocking power out, ironically, they can also give too much power by way of electrical surges, which have the tendency to fry your electronics. To avoid this headache, we recommend using a surge protector such as GE's top-rated power strip surge protector. With over 76,000 five-star reviews, buyers love the protection the power strip brings, as well as the convenient length of its chord. $14 from Amazon

A waterproof safe

Closed, black safe against green background
Credit: Reviewed / SentrySafe

Keep vital documents secure in a waterproof safe

If the worst comes to pass and stormwater breaches your home, you can still protect vital documents using a waterproof safe. One of the most popular ones on Amazon is sold by SentrySafe, which has over 6,700 five-star ratings. Buyers love the simple-to-use digital keypad, as well as the high-quality build of the safe. $475 from Amazon

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