Consider this your hurricane season wake-up call

Video: Hurricane Katrina Before After & Now - Biloxi

Photos in Biloxi, Miss., before Hurricane Katrina, after and now, 10 years later
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Photos in Biloxi, Miss., before Hurricane Katrina, after and now, 10 years later

This is week three of hurricane season and the Mississippi Coast already is dealing with two named storms. And they aren’t even the first of the year. That would be Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed in the central Atlantic in April.

It appears this will be a very lively hurricane season. We should plan and prepare accordingly.

If you haven’t taken the time to update your hurricane plan, you should. Now. If you don’t have a hurricane plan, you should make one. Now.

These storms likely won’t develop into major hurricanes, but now is the time to make those crucial decisions that you absolutely do not want to put off until a major storm is threatening our Coast.

You can decide now whether you will evacuate to a shelter in one of the coastal counties or a city farther inland. Evacuations can be expensive, especially if you opt to stay in a hotel. You need to know if the shelter or hotel will accept your pet. If you opt to stay, there are all sorts of supplies you’ll need to have on hand. Last-minute shopping trips under a hurricane warning are extremely stressful. And hurricane experts warn that the stress level during a storm can be just as deadly as wind and water.

Ready.gov can help with all your emergency planning needs. MSEMA.org also has many tips for getting ready for a hurricane. Now is the time to use these resources, not when the lights start flickering.

The first storm, which is likely to hit Wednesday, will bring heavy rain and large waves to the Coast. Flooding is a certainty.

If you are in an area that is in danger of flooding or has already flooded, please leave now. Don’t wait until you are putting yourself and the first responders who will try to rescue you in danger.

Take care of your neighbors. If they are elderly, they could use your help. If they are new to the area, they could use your advice.

Yes, this could be a busy hurricane season. But it doesn’t have to be a deadly one.

Prepare. Stay safe.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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