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Simultaneous Atlantic, Pacific hurricanes underscore the need for physical and financial storm preparation

As we head toward the late summer peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, three storm systems are churning on opposite coasts of the United States.

Brushing the East Coast: Hurricane Bertha weakened to a tropical storm earlier today and is not expected to cause serious damage to the Eastern Seaboard.

NWS-NHC-NOAA radar of Hurricane Bertha
Hurricane Bertha is that mass of clouds off the South and North Carolina coasts in this National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center enhanced radar image. Click image to see an animated loop.

East coast beaches and the adjacent homes are safe as the Atlantic season's second hurricane of the year should continue northeast and dissipate out at sea. But surfers and swimmers need to watch out for Bertha-produced riptides.

Pacific storm threats: It's a different story, however, in the Pacific Ocean where Hurricane Iselle and Tropical Storm Julio are training toward Hawaii.

NWS-NHC-NOAA radar of Hurricanes Iselle and Julio
The more formed Hurricane Iselle with its definite eye is in the center of this National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center enhanced radar image. In the wake of the category 4 storm is Tropical Storm Julio. Click image to see animated loop.

Hawaiian residents and tourists are hoping the forecasts are correct. Iselle is expected to slowly weaken as it nears the island state and fade to tropical storm strength by the time it gets to Hawaii.

But forecasts change. And there's Julio to worry about, too. Official storm warnings could be issued as early as later today.

Hawaii is no stranger to storms. Last July, Tropical Storm Flossie caused minor damage. The last major storm to hit the islands was Hurricane Iniki, a category 4 that made landfall on Sept. 11, 1992. Six people were killed and damages amounted to nearly $2 billion.

With that history, I suspect Hawaiians are taking Iselle and Julio seriously.

Storm prep time is now: While those of us in the continental United States don't have to worry about a tropical system right now, Atlantic storms ramp up in August and September.

That means that it is time to get ready for whatever Mother Nature can throw our way.

Check out the ol' blog's Natural Disasters Resources page for tax and other information and links that can help you get ready for a catastrophe well before it hits.

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