Hurricane experts visit the Lowcountry

VIDEO: Hurricane experts visit the Lowcountry
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC
Source: WCSC

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Some of the country's top hurricane experts were in Myrtle Beach today.

It's part of their annual Hurricane Awareness Tour that's done ahead of the season starting.

While most people are waiting on the forecast to be released, the pros say you should be doing other things right now.

"Evacuation, supplies, insurance, and strengthening your home," Dr. Rick Knabb, Director of the National Hurricane Center, said. "If you do those things in advance your stress level will go way down. Whatever hurricanes or storms that may affect you this year, you'll be ready."

Hurricane season starts June 1.

While the Lowcountry hasn't had a major storm in the past few years, experts say severe weather can happen anywhere, at any time.

"You're going to hear a seasonal forecast," Daniel Brown, Senior Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said. "I know NOAA releases one in late May, but don't focus on the numbers on whether it's going to be an active or inactive season. It only takes one hurricane to hit your area for it to be a bad year."

"Look at history, where hurricanes have gone in the past," Tim Smail, with FLASH, added. "How they've come up through the center of the country and dropped a lot of rain. Be prepared for those risks."

That's what the Hurricane Awareness Tour's mission is, to help get you ready ahead of time.

All while the experts work hard behind the scenes to bring you the latest developments on the storm.

"It becomes all hands on deck, Dr. Jason Tuell, Director of the Eastern Region National Weather Service, said. "Everyone is focused on that forecast, messaging to the local communities."

Some of our best information about hurricanes come from Hurricane Hunters who fly these planes into the storm.

Each equipped with the top weather technology.

"Those are valuable assets to help improve hurricane forecasts, Lt. David Cowan, with NOAA Corps, said. "Hopefully to the point where we can look out three to four days in advance and tell who needs to leave and who doesn't need to leave."

Officials say it's best to heed the warning, and evacuate when told to do so.

They say not only does it save your life, but it makes the work for emergency responders that much easier.

The last time the tour came to South Carolina was in 1999.

The tour wraps up in Marathon, Florida in the next week.

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