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NEWS

Forecasters Lower Predictions for 2006 Hurricane Season
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Katie Lawson
 
August 18, 2006

On the heels of Tropical Storm Chris, forecasters have lowered their predictions for the remainder slightly of the 2006 Atlantic Coast hurricane season. The American Red Cross continues to encourage the public to take this opportunity to get prepared.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that although this year’s three named storms to-date pale in comparison to the nine that had formed by this time last year, an above-normal season is still being predicted.

For the remainder of the season, which officially runs from June 1 through Nov. 30, NOAA is predicting 12 to 15 named storms. Of these storms, seven to nine are expected to become hurricanes with three to four intensifying to major hurricanes. This forecast has been slightly lowered from the predictions made in May when NOAA anticipated 13 to 16 named storms, of which eight to 10 of those were expected become hurricanes.

The NOAA outlook uses major climate factors in predicting each year's hurricane activity; however, this cannot be used to determine where and when tropical storms and hurricanes could strike.

“The relatively quiet start to this year’s hurricane season is not necessarily an indication of what may come in the next few months,” said Keith Robertory, preparedness expert for the American Red Cross. “It is critical for the American public to continue to prepare for all kinds of disasters, not just hurricanes.”

What You Can Do

Disaster can strike at any time and without warning. If your community is at risk from storm fronts or other natural disasters, take time now to prepare:

  • Be Informed: Learn about the types of disasters that could strike where you live. Be aware that a hurricane watch indicates that hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours while a warning indicates that hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours. Continue to listen to the local radio, TV and NOAA radio stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

  • Build a Kit: Assemble an emergency supplies kit including a first aid kit, non-perishble food, water, a battery-operated radio, a flashlight, extra batteries and other things you might need in case of an emergency. Follow the Red Cross guidelines to build an emergency supplies kit or to purchase and customize one at the Red Cross online store.

  • Make a Plan: Make a personal evacuation plan in advance, and prepare an emergency contact list to keep in touch with loved ones in case you are separated during an evacuation. To learn how to develop your plan, visit the Get Prepared section of redcross.org.

For information about how to prepare your home, community and workplace for disasters, visit the "Get Prepared" section of RedCross.org

The American Red Cross has helped people mobilize to help their neighbors for 125 years. Last year, victims of a record 72,883 disasters, most of them fires, turned to the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross for help and hope. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people each year gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Almost 4 million people give blood—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of more than 180 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.


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