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Peak of hurricane season ahead

In the past week four named storms were being watched by the National Hurricane Center.

David Adams, Escambia County’s Emergency Management Agency director, said seeing that number of active storms isn’t unusual for “this time of year.”

“We are approaching the peak of the hurricane season,” Adams said. “The peak of the season will happen Sept. 10. Although we’re almost half way through the season there is still plenty of time for a storm to develop and cause us some problems.”

Adams said residents should recall an intense storm that swept through the Gulf Coast and into Brewton on Sept. 16.

“One of the largest storms to hit in recent history hit our area on Sept. 16,” Adams said. ‘Hurricane Ivan came after the peak of the season and there is a good chance that a storm could develop and still be an issue.”

With the season half over, the predictions released by the National Hurricane Center are right on target, Adams said.

“We have had seven named storms so far this season,” Adams said. “The predictions were that we would have 13 or 14 named storms this year. As far as the predictions go, we are right on track with what was expected for the season.”

Although Tropical Storm Gaston, which developed strongly enough to be named last week has fallen apart, Adams said people shouldn’t get to complacent about storms and the predictions that still remain for the season.

“There is still plenty of time for a major storm to develop and come our way,” Adams said. “I don’t want people to be caught unaware and unprepared if that should happen.”

Adams said preparing for the worst is essential when it comes to surviving in the wake of a storm.

“Being prepared is necessary for many reasons when it comes to surviving a storm,” Adams said. “Many agencies recommend that people be prepared and able to stand on their own for at least 72 hours after a storm. But it is more practical to be prepared for five days. After Ivan many people were without power for 10 days or more.”

Preparation isn’t only for the comfort and stability of a family but for the community as well, Adams said.

“If you aren’t prepared to take care of yourself after a storm then it puts a burden on others,” Adams said. “When someone isn’t prepared they have to call on friends, family and agencies to help take care of them and that can be a big burden financially and physically for other people.”

As the storm season’s peak arrives, Adams said those who have generators should take the time now to ensure safety.

“The time to check things out and make preparations is now while the weather is calm,” Adams said. “For people who have generators there are some very important factors to remember. If they haven’t been serviced yet go ahead and get them serviced now. Make sure to follow manufacturers instructions carefully when operating generators to make sure your family stays safe while it is being used.”