Obama urges Americans to get ready for hurricane season

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Washington, June 1 (IANS) President Barack Obama urged Americans on Tuesday to be prepared for the next hurricane season in the Atlantic, which officially begins on Wednesday.

Obama visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Response Coordination Centre, where he was told about the preparations being made for the next hurricane season that will hit the US from the east, EFE news agency reported.

The president warned about a certain “complacency” with which many respond to weather warnings, and made it very clear that if local authorities consider an evacuation necessary due to the threat of a tropical storm or hurricane, evacuate is what citizens must do.

“One of the biggest, most important messages that we’re going to be delivering throughout hurricane season is that you cannot judge the dangerousness of a hurricane based on the fact that in the past it dissipated or it missed you,” Obama said.

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He also warned that with the effects of climate change, “hurricanes are only going to become more powerful and more devastating”.

“We can’t control the weather, but we can control our responses to it,” Obama told reporters after a meeting at the FEMA facility.

The US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration last week presented its forecast for the Atlantic hurricane season that predicts 10 to 16 named tropical storms, of which between 4 and 8 will power up to become hurricanes.

In its report, the NOAA said that between one and four of the hurricanes will reach Category 5 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Taking part in the Tuesday meeting at FEMA were, among others, the director of that agency, Craig Fugate, and the head of NOAA, Kathryn Sullivan, along with officials of the president’s Homeland Security team.

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