As hurricane season ramps up, now is the time to be prepared

NORFOLK, Va. - With hurricane season ramping up, now is the time to be prepared for whatever might impact Virginia and North Carolina this year.

Tropical Storm Cindy brought days of heavy rainfall from the Gulf Coast northward.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th and some forecasters are predicting above average storm activity.

At Old Dominion University, Ray Toll directs coastal resilience research research.

He says it is difficult to accurate predict the intensity of a season at the onset, but does say warmer sea surface temperatures this year are a key part of hurricane development.

"We don't know for sure what kind of season it will be or if we will have a strong La Nina or El Nino. La Nina is when we're very active in the Western Atlantic. El Nino is when it's very active in the Pacific Ocean," Toll stated.

In any case, Toll points out that even a storm that doesn't directly hit the region can impact us greatly.

"Of recent memory, last October was Hurricane Matthew. Now Hurricane Matthew never struck the coast, but everyone in Hampton Roads understands the impact that Matthew had, it’s all because of the proximity of the center," he explained.

Emergency Management officials urge folks to prepare early, including evacuation plans and having emergency kits on hand.

Related Coverage: 

Hurricane season is now here and we are getting ready on Coast Live

New local evacuation zones go into effect with the start of hurricane season

2017 Atlantic hurricane season begins