Don’t wait for warning

Published 1:30 am Sunday, August 7, 2011

While the past few months have brought record-high temperatures, drought and wildfires to eastern North Carolina, it’s noteworthy to remember that August ushers in the most-active part of hurricane season.
This past week, forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center heightened their Atlantic hurricane season outlook: 14 to 19 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes with three to five growing into major Category 3 or stronger storms. The original prediction in May called for 12 to 18 named storms and six to 10 hurricanes.
“We expect considerable activity,” Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the CPC, told The Associated Press. “There is absolutely no reason that people should be complacent. Now is the time people really need to make sure they have their hurricane preparedness plans in place.”
We concur.
While the CPC points out that it does not forecast hurricane landfalls, it only takes one to produce death and destruction.
All residents are encouraged to take basic steps now to prepare for a possible storm in the future. Hurricane preparedness information can be found online at the websites for NOAA, FEMA, the National Hurricane Center and the American Red Cross.
Consider Bell’s words as your first hurricane warning.