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Hurricane Preparedness Week continues through Saturday. And organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service are using each day of the week to focus on a specific aspect of disaster readiness.

2012 Hurricane season forecast as "near normal"; U.S. could see 9 - 15 named storms

courtesy: NOAA

The 2012 Hurricane Season should be a “near normal” season – according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – or NOAA.WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports that Hurricane Preparedness Week, which begins Sunday, is not just for newcomers to coastal areas.

“Near normal” in the meteorological vernacular means that between June 1st and November 30th, the United States could see nine to fifteen named storms.  And that makes hurricane preparation critical for residents near the coast.   But not everyone takes the warnings seriously. 

Rick Kreitner, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Wilmington, says it’s not uncommon for people to ignore warnings and skip the development of an emergency plan… until they’ve survived a Category 3, 4, or 5 storm. 

Kreitner says this year forecasters predict that between four and eight storms will become hurricanes – with one to three of those storms turning into major category 3 storms or higher. 

Hurricane Preparedness Week starts Sunday, with each day of the week focused on a different aspect of readiness.

For more information on Hurricane Preparedness Week, visit http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.