Meridian, Miss. After a six month break, hurricane season has once again set its eye upon the Atlantic Basin. Although the peak of the season isn't for several months away, it's always important to be prepared. Preparation for hurricanes is something many learned after a hyper active 2005 season, when Katrina came barreling towards the coast and affected millions. Cities like Meridian aren't always accustomed to hurricanes, but it's always important to have a safety plan, according to Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency Director Scott Spears.
"Most people think we'll we're a 100 miles away, that protects you from storm surge obviously, but not other disasters," said LEMA Director Spears. "Katrina proved that we can get the winds here just like the Gulf Coast did."
Historically speaking, the US has been in a lull when it comes to a major hurricane making landfall in the US. In fact it has been well over 3,100 days since a major hurricane has impacted the US. Although the season is expected to be below normal, it only takes one major storm to make it a devastating season.
"One Katrina is all you need, you don't want nothing else you don't need anything else, you probably can't handle anything else," said Spears. "So even though we're looking at a minor year you still need to be prepared and watch."
Preparation comes in the forms of having a working NOAA weather radio that's programmed, a safety plan, plenty of food, and staying up to date through apps you can get on your smart phones that send out location based warnings.
NOAA is forecasting between 9 and 13 named tropical storms this year. 3 to 6 hurricanes are forecast to form in the Atlantic, with 1 or 2 of these expected to be a major hurricane.