CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway. The National Hurricane Center predicts 10 to 16 named storms this year, providing the North Atlantic coast with a "near normal" season.
"This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it's difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center.
Every second and minute matters, if a hurricane were to head to the Charleston coastline. Forecasters say everyone needs to be prepared for the unexpected.
Disaster experts say you should be packed, prepared and ready-to-go for whatever may come our way, through the recovery process.
A typical route out of the neighborhood may be flooded, or packed with neighbors leaving at the same time. The National Hurricane Center says you should have an alternate route and a place to go away from home that family members know about.
Emergency preparedness kits are important as well. Filling up an old duffle bag with water, food, emergency blankets, flashlights and more are key. Building one is something the whole family can do.
According to the American Red Cross, the best protection in a hurricane is preparation. Experts say there is no better time to be prepared and protected than today.
The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season will run through Nov. 30.