Be prepared for hurricane season - Metro US

Be prepared for hurricane season

As the 2009 hurricane season approaches, the latest forecast is calling for “at or above normal” storm activity on the Atlantic Ocean. But Environment Canada says it’s better to be prepared than to trust the numbers.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. government agency that monitors storm activity, released its forecast Thursday of nine to 14 named storms, four to seven hurricanes and one to three major hurricanes.

A spokesman for Environment Canada’s Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, however, said “there’s nobody out there” who can accurately predict how many storms will come out of any hurricane season. Much less can anyone predict how many hurricanes will hit Atlantic Canada.

“There’s really very little connection between what’s out there and what’s going to impact us,” Peter Bowyer said at a news conference Thursday.

Bowyer said hurricane forecasts are still useful because they provide “a darn good opportunity for us to remind everybody it’s hurricane season.”

The best way to begin preparing for the upcoming hurricane season is to look at how you might be vulnerable to the winds, waves and rains of a hurricane, Bowyer said. Bowyer also said each household should prepare a kit with supplies to get through at least 72 hours, in case of emergency. To learn more about how to prepare an emergency kit, visit getprepared.ca.

Hurricane season generally runs from June to November, but Canada usually gets hit most between August and November.

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