EMA urges residents to prepare now

Published 1:08 pm Friday, June 6, 2014

By Morgan Burkett
The Greenville Advocate

The spring severe weather season has drawn to a close.

Temperatures are creeping up, humidity levels are rising, and those pop up afternoon storms are once again becoming the norm.

This can only mean one thing: summer is all but here.

And with the summer warmth comes a new season. Hurricane season officially began on Monday.

According to information from the National Weather Service, 2014 is expected to be a below-average storm season, but Butler County EMA Director Shirley Sandy is urging residents to be prepared for the worst.

NOAA has predicted eight-to-13 named storms will form in the Atlantic Ocean during this year’s hurricane season, which stretches from June through November. Three-to-six of those storms, NOAA officials say, could be hurricanes, while one-to-two of those storms are predicted to have the potential to reach a category 3 or greater.

“The low predictions for this year’s hurricane season is a nice thing to hear, but it does not lessen our preparedness efforts,” said Shirley Sandy, Butler County’s Emergency Management contact, “It only takes one bad storm to cause devastation to an area, so we will continue to be diligent in our preparedness efforts for Butler County.”

Sandy encouraged residents to stock up on items that might be needed should a storm impact Butler County.

“Key items to have available are water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, tarps, a weather radio, and an out of state contact,” she said.  “A list of items can be found on the American Red Cross website: redcross.org.”

Sandy said it’s also important to have a plan in place long before a storm begins bearing down on the area.

“If there is a hurricane coming, first and foremost have a family plan,” she said. “Also, families need to pay close attention to their media sources, especially prior to the hurricane. Some precautions to take would be to secure all outdoor items, fill tubs and sinks with water, have ample food and drinking water, and know all evacuation routes.”