US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Wednesday that a "heavy" US hurricane season could be in store, after briefing President Barack Obama on latest forecasts.
Obama gathered top disaster preparedness officials, state and local authorities and non-profit groups for a White House meeting on the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season to discuss this year's predictions.
The season, which runs to November 30, will feature atmospheric conditions which experts predict will lead to formation of 12 to 18 named tropical storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"Right now, it looks like that there could be a heavy hurricane season, but that doesn't speak to landfall,"Napolitano told reporters at the White House.
"So we need to be prepared for landfall, if it happens.she said.
"The bottom line for the president was... that this team have been planning, coordinating, organizing, recognizing each other's strengths and leveraging those strengths as we head into the hurricane season,"
"Our big question to the public right now: are you ready? Do you know what to do?"
Emergency management officials say individuals also need to start preparing.
says Jim Vaught with Emergency Management.
“We ask you to put together a supply kit; put things in there that you need to keep you going for 72 hours,”
“We want you to have things in there like non-perishables, medications, special needs for seniors or for children, cash because if we have loss of power those ATM machines are not going to work.”
Also have a plan in place in case of severe weather and if you become separated from family and friends.
“How are you going to get together with friends, relatives, loved ones? Have a rendezvous point: Some place you can go so if you get separated you can all get back together,”
Click here for some more ways to prepare yourself if a disaster hits.