South Fork Watches Hurricane Arthur

The ocean looked tame in downtown Montauk Thursday, but big swells and rip currents are expected through Saturday as the storm heads north. Jeremy Samuelson

Safety first, and more than ever, during this hurricane and tropical storm season, which began in the Atlantic on June 1 and will last until Nov. 30.

As of this morning, Hurricane Arthur was moving north along the coast, and, while there are no land impacts anticipated, "plans at the beach would be the biggest concern," said David Stark, a meteorologist intern for the National Weather Service in Upton. Mr. Stark advises caution with regard to water activities as there are "dangerous currents directly along the coast, rip currents from the churning-up waters, and high surf predicted." 

Saturday's marine weather forecast was for seas up to eight feet with strong northwest winds, conditions that could very well lead to dangerous rip currents. 

Bruce A. Bates, East Hampton's emergency preparedness coordinator, said on Wednesday night that rip currents already exist and surf conditions would only worsen over the weekend. He offered a reminder to swimmers to swim only at lifeguard protected beaches. 

The National Weather Service Hurricane Center, as of 11 a.m. on Thursday, posted that the hurricane's maximum sustained winds were 90 miles per hour and that the storm was 260 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and 110 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

Additionally, forecasters are "seeing potential for thunderstorms and showers starting Thursday, not related the storm itself, but the cold front," explained Mr. Stark.

During hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watches, people can look on the East Hampton and Southampton Town websites as well as that of Suffolk County for detailed guidance. Mr. Bates advises that during a storm, people "monitor local news sources and governmental announcements and follow what is suggested." The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Ready Campaign, Citizen's Corps, the American Red Cross, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center can offer further information about any hurricane or tropical storm.

After assessing your risk level and finding its corresponding procedure, possible safety measures could include making a family disaster plan, assembling a disaster supply kit to last a minimum of three days, and gathering important documents. Pet owners can visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency website and should know the location of a shelter that accepts animals.