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June 1st was the beginning of hurricane season, which will last until November. As June approached, the first named hurricane of 2008 was reported and dubbed Arthur. Although it did not materialize into a significant storm, forecasters have predicted an active season in 2008. The nation has a new understanding of the devastation a hurricane can cause after watching coastal areas in the south deal with Katrina and Rita. Over the last few years Virginia has seen the effects of Floyd, Isabel and Gaston. These storms remind us that inland areas can be hit with significant winds and damaging rains, resulting in loss of power and flooding. Many do not think about preparing in advance. Instead, they rationalize that preparation can begin once the storm appears to be headed in their direction.

In truth, preparing ahead for a hurricane season can also prepare you for other emergencies. Start to build your kit today, and, if you are prepared, share this information with your family, neighbors and friends. Remember, we cannot count on others for our response; Emergency Preparedness is everybody's job!

Create a basic supply kit, make sure you have a communications plan, and store items your family will need if there is no power or deliveries to the area are delayed. Look at the recommended checklists and find out more about hurricanes and emergency preparedness by visiting these two sites: