Start your generators. The 2016 hurricane season has officially begun.
While the season officially started on June 1, two named storms have already progressed through portions of the United States — Alex and Bonnie. The first formed in January and the second just before the season began on May 27.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its predictions for the 2016 season. NOAA is predicting anywhere between 10 to 16 named storms, including four to eight hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes. This translates into a 45 percent chance that the season will be near-normal, 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and 25 percent of a below-normal season.
It is always best to prepare for a storm before one is in the vicinity. Orange County offers a few suggestions for making sure your family is prepared in the event of a hurricane in your area:
-Create a family preparedness communication plan. Be sure to plan for your pets.
-Prepare a disaster supply kit that includes any necessary medications, nonperishable food items, one gallon of water per person per day, important documents, flash lights and a battery-powered radio.
-Know the local hurricane evacuation route and shelter locations.
-Protect your home by trimming your trees, boarding up windows, bringing in any objects from patios that could cause damage, and getting sand bags if necessary.