Obama urges preparation ahead of hurricane season

Obama urges preparation ahead of hurricane season
© Getty Images

President Obama met with federal emergency response officials on Tuesday and said the public needs to be prepared for the 2016 hurricane season, which starts on June 1. 

During a meeting at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Obama said he has seen “some public complacency slipping in” surrounding hurricane preparedness.


“We've been stagnant a little bit with respect to the number of people, the percentage of people who respond to an evacuation order,” he said. “All that has to pick up, because we want to make sure that, although it's hard to prevent property damage, that we are doing everything we can to prevent loss of life.”

A major hurricane — category 3 or above — has not made landfall with the mainland United States in 10 years, the longest such drought on record.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year: Its annual hurricane outlook, released last week, calls for a 70 percent probably that the 2016 season will produce 10 to 16 named storms, four to eight hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes.

Obama said Americans need to prepare for the possibility that one of those storms could make landfall. He recommended checking Ready.gov, a severe weather preparedness site, and download a FEMA cellphone app to get hurricane updates. 

“It just takes one big disaster for us to really see some severe impacts,” he said. 

“What we're always worried about are the things we don't know, things we can't anticipate, things that we haven't seen before. And that is why it's so important to make sure that every American, every family participate actively in getting prepared.”