A year after super storm Sandy, predicting where the next super storm may hit could save lives; that's why determining who is most at risk is so important.
Local 2 Hurricane Expert and former Director of the National Hurricane Center Bill Read has been researching vulnerable areas.
At first, he had about 20 locations. He has narrowed down the list to just a few of the most in danger, including a region in Texas, the lower Rio Grande Valley.
"I chose only the places that haven't been hit in a long while," explained Read.
Frequency of storm landfall wasn't the only criteria. There are other risk factors Read identified as to why the Valley would be devastated due to the strike of a powerful storm, including the area's unique position along a border, its recent explosive population growth and quality of homes.
"Poverty really actually plays a role there," said Read. "There are a lot of people living there in houses I wouldn't ride out a thunderstorm in, much less a hurricane."
As for the destruction, storm surge would severely damage the Barrier Island, Port Isabel and parts of Brownsville. Read worries the strong winds would destroy poorly built homes. Then there is widespread flooding.
"For the people that live there, it is going to be a tough ride," said Read, "and for people trying to help them out, response is going to be a monumental task."
Wherever you are along the coast, preparation is the key. Read suggests having an emergency plan, knowing where safe shelter is located, and having enough food and water to last you at least a week.
The other areas Read expressed concern for are:
- The Tidewater region, including Norfolk to Virginia Beach, VA
- Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA
- Jacksonville, FL
- Florida's west coast, including Tampa