On August 6th, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a revised hurricane outlook for the 2009 hurricane season. While this outlook provides important trends and cycles, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in a recent press release, is taking this opportunity to remind the public that no one can predict where the next storm will strike or what the impacts of that storm will be. As we move into the more active phase of the hurricanes season, FEMA says it is critical that everyone take steps now to prepare themselves and their families.

“If you live in a hurricane prone area, it is common sense to ensure your family is prepared,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “We do not know where the next hurricane will strike, but what we do know is that the more the public does now to prepare, the better the outcome will be. I’m encouraging anyone in a hurricane prone state to take a few small steps to ensure their family is ready.”

Everyone, even those living outside of hurricane-risk areas, should ensure they have taken steps to prepare, including developing an emergency kit, getting training in CPR or first aid, and knowing if they live in an evacuation route. Important items to have ready in case of an emergency include a battery-powered radio, flashlight, extra batteries, medicines, non-perishable food, hand-operated can opener, utility knife and first aid supplies. Copy and store your important documents in a waterproof bag. These may include medical records, contracts, property deeds, leases, banking records, insurance records, and birth certificates.

Earlier this week Administrator Fugate released a video message on the importance of personal preparedness. The video can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/fema.

For more preparedness information, please visit www.fema.gov and www.ready.gov.