Dangerous hurricane season, are you prepared? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dangerous hurricane season, are you prepared?

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April 9, 2008

Brace yourself. We could be in for a dangerous hurricane season.

After a couple of fairly calm years, one of the country's foremost hurricane experts today predicted an active 2008.   Weather forecasters are using a new forecasting model to predict hurricanes this year, and they expect 15 named storms to develop. In case one of those storms impacts our area, your family should have a Family Disaster Plan.

 "A plan is knowing what your family will do in case there's a hurricane, if they're at school, at work, what they will do, who they will contact, how they will contact them", said Mari McEwen the Executive Director for the Albany Red cross.

Knowing who to contact in an emergency is important, but the Dougherty County Emergency Managers is also ready to contact you with a new warning system.

Jim Vaught, Deputy Director of the Albany EMA said they're ready. "First off we get notification for the National Weather Service, as soon as we get that notification we set off our city alarm, we have 14 sirens located through the city and we just recently purchased a Code Red emergency notification system".

That system will notify city and county residents who sign up for it by phone should hazardous weather head this way. If you are asked to evacuated your home, having important documents and prescriptions ready to go is a good idea.

Mari McEwen reminded people not to forget their medicine. " If people are on medication, have prescriptions, copies of prescriptions or the prescription available to take, valuables, important papers....".

Having something as simple as matches or a butane lighter and a kerosene lantern could come in handy in case of a dangerous storm. Something Paul Spratlin at Home Depot says he doesn't see people in Albany doing in advance.

 Paul Spartlin said, "in this area people generally don't prepare for a hurricane, most of the time when we get a hurricane warning it's well in advance, and most of the hurricanes have diminished a great deal before it gets to us".

Powerful or not disasters can strike quickly and without much warning, so a little preparation now could make a big difference later.

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