Delaware prepares for hurricane season

The 2012 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicked off June 1, and emergency services agencies and Delmarva Power are encouraging Delawareans to prepare for the worst.

Meteorologists are predicting a “near-normal” hurricane season with up to 15 named storms, with four to eight becoming hurricanes and one to three turning into major hurricanes with top winds of 111 mph or higher.

“It is important to stay informed and have an emergency plan and kit in place,” said Jamie Turner, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency during a news conference in Newark Wednesday. “People should also ensure that their neighbors have made similar storm preparations.”

Community partner, Delmarva Power, says in the event of a storm, “We’ll be prepared to increase our staffing levels, adjust resources as needed and work with local governments through our Emergency Services Partnership Program to activate emergency procedures,” said region president Gary Stockbridge.

Delmarva Power says its employees participate in regular emergency drills and keep an adequate supply of equipment like poles, wires and transformers on hand should a natural disaster strke.

Although he was unable to attend the news conference, Gov. Jack Markell did offer these words of advice, “We can’t stop hurricanes, but we can take steps to be better prepared for their arrival.”

Delmarva Power recommends emergency kits include a flashlight, battery-powered clock and radio, extra batteries, non-perishable food, manual can opener, bottled water and a list of important phone numbers stashed away in a large, easy-too-grab cooler.

Last summer, Hurricane Irene blew through the First State, leading to the evacuation of tourists and residents from coastal communities. The storm caused flooding, knocked out power to thousands and spawned a tornado that caused serious damage to some homes in Lewes.

The 2012 hurricane season ends November 30.

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