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Getting ready, physically & fiscally, for natural disasters


It's that terrible time of year when Mother Nature is on the rampage.

In the last few days, at least 19 twisters have touched down in Tornado Alley. That dangerous weather pattern is expected to repeat and expand over the coming days.

In addition to spawning twisters that destroyed stretches of property, but luckily spared lives, the storm system produced large hail and flooding rain.

And just because she can, Mother Nature decided it was time for the Atlantic hurricane season to get a head start.

Tropical storm, too: Monday afternoon (May 20), Subtropical Storm Andrea, the first named storm of 2019, formed southwest of Bermuda.

Subtropical storm Andrea May 20 2019

While the activity gets a jump start on the official hurricane season, which kicks off June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, early tropical development is not that unusual.

Last year's first named storm was Alberto. That tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico on May 25 and made landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Memorial Day 2018.

This season, the tropical systems that develop in or move into the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico after Andrea will be named Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Imelda, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.

Long line to tour the USAF hurricane hunter airplane in Galveston TX May 2019_NOAA Photo
People line up to tour a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane hunter aircraft at one of the weather office's nationwide public stops in advance of the 2019 hurricane season. (Photo courtesy NOAA)

Storm prep time: The current tornadic and tropical activity underscores the need to get ready, regardless of what type of trouble Mother Nature might unleash in your area.

It also means it's time for me to remind everyone of the ol' blog's special collection of storm related posts. These Storm Warnings items look at ways to prepare for, recover from and help those dealing with major natural disasters.

I'll let you peruse the info, which is divided into six separate pages, at your leisure.

Yes, six still-growing pages.

As a weather geek in addition to being a tax nerd, I've been blogging about severe storms and their tax ramifications for almost as long as I've been posting. In fact, my first hurricane related post was on Nov. 15, 2005. It was my second blog post, just one day after Don't Mess With Taxes debuted.

Again, spend the amount of time you want or need to get ready for the already-here storm seasons. But let me suggest a few preparation highlights to get you started since Mother Nature isn't waiting around for us:

And just in case you or someone you know sustained damage in this latest spate of tornadoes, check out this post on how to get tax help for your natural disaster losses.

The tax rules are a bit different now for disaster tax deduction claims thanks to changes under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).

I hope that all your preparation for any kind of natural disaster is for naught as the storms and other catastrophes pass you by, leaving you and yours unscathed.

But as the recent weather developments show, it's always better to be ready just in case.

Addendum aka shameless plug: Check out my tumblr post on storm season and taxes at Tumbling Taxes.





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