Hurricane Season Countdown

With just a week to go before the start of the 2008 hurricane season, the headlines point to the potentially deadly combination of an active season and a lack of preparedness. First, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) yesterday predicted an active season, with 12 to 16 named storms, six to nine of which are expected to become hurricanes. Two to five of the storms are also likely to be major hurricanes of Category 3,  4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale,  according to NOAA. Meanwhile, a new survey from Allstate reveals that while more than half of coastal residents (55 percent) declare they are prepared for a hurricane right now, the majority admit to not having an evacuation plan in place for their family, or a meeting place away from the coast. The exception to this rule was in New Orleans, where 78 percent have an evacuation plan. According to the survey, seven in 10 of those who recently experienced a hurricane declared it a frightening event, but only two-thirds of coastal residents said they were likely to evacuate if a major storm like hurricane Katrina headed their way. The following reasons were given by the one-third not willing to evacuate: feeling safe at home, protecting their home from looters or traffic concerns. For hurricane preparedness tips check out the I.I.I. disaster information site.  

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