Why leaders are urging NC residents to start hurricane prep now

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Hurricane season runs from June to November, with the most hurricanes occurring in August, September and October.

Leaders are encouraging residents to start preparing now, before a storm strikes.

Forecasters expect a busy hurricane season this year, fueled by climate change making extreme weather more frequent and severe.

Warmer oceans provide more energy for hurricanes to form and strengthen, making them more powerful. Also, changes in atmospheric conditions can make storms more likely to form and intensify, leading to more frequent hurricanes.

In North Carolina, this means the potential for more powerful storms hitting the coast, causing more damage, and putting people at risk.

Meteorologist Katie Webster is a planner for the North Carolina Emergency Management and says response teams have to be ready for bigger challenges, like evacuating more people and dealing with greater destruction.

“Warming temperatures mean that we want to look at all the hazards, take into account what could happen, and really just best prepare to respond for our citizens in the state,” Webster said.

The state completes exercises to practice playing out response plans for emergency scenarios, from a nuclear plant release to extreme weather.

“We have a lot of those going on right now,” Webster said. “We want to be prepared for any event and especially if we have cascading events because we know that hurricanes are or another type of natural hazard may be a big draw for threat actors to come in and and cause other issues as well.”

Webster encourages residents to prepare an emergency supply kit that has items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, radio, medication and important documents.