Officials say it's time to prep for the 2012 Hurricane Season - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Officials say it's time to prep for the 2012 Hurricane Season

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

After two very active seasons, hurricane experts are predicting the 2012 hurricane season will be normal or even below normal. 

"That means 10 to12 named storms, five to seven hurricanes, and one to two major hurricanes.  With that in mind, after the last couple of seasons, it'll be a nice breather," said WLOX Chief Meteorologist Mike Reader.  

That prediction is due to cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic, in addition to the year's weather patterns so far.

"One of the big reasons is El Niño, La Niña. We've been in a La Niña weather pattern for the last few years. What that does is allow Atlantic hurricanes to be more active. Well, this year we're in a neutral season, maybe even an El Niño," said Reader.

However, those predictions don't mean that you should relax just yet.

Emergency officials say now is the time make sure you're prepared for any storm, big or small.

"We're starting to encourage people to go back through their hurricane plans, look at them from last year, make any changes for this year. This is the time to start restocking the kits and or replenishing the kits," said Harrison County EOC Director Rupert Lacy.

Lacy says those kits should include water, canned food, any needed medications and cash.  He says it's also wise to have a portable radio or TV.

"Preparedness begins at the lowest level. Children need to be included and for our business interests, our businesses need to be sure this is a time they dust off their hurricane plans," said Lacy.

"It doesn't make a difference if you have a bunch of storms or a very little storms, it's a matter of where they hit. So yes, you definitely need to be prepared because it only takes one hurricane to ruin the season," Reader.

There has also been a change in how the national hurricane center is handling storm surges.  Separate advisories will go out for storm surges to help people better prepare. 

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

 

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