National Hurricane Center briefing urges residents to prepare for 2018 season

MIAMI (WSVN) - The Department of Homeland Security visited the National Hurricane Center to talk preparedness two days prior to the official start of the hurricane season.

The official start of the hurricane season is right around the corner, and the National Hurricane Center held a briefing, Wednesday.

“They never sit still,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “They are always trying to find better ways to make the information not only actionable but understandable, so we can protect our families and our communities.”

Ken Graham, the director of the National Hurricane Center and FEMA administrator Brock Long were on hand for the briefing.

Officials emphasized residents be prepared for anything during the hurricane season.

“Even with a perfect forecast, the storm still comes. You can’t stop it,” Graham said, “so it does become about the preparedness as we enter the 2018 hurricane season.”

After an unprecedented 2017 hurricane season where multiple storms devastated parts of the country, FEMA said it’s working to make changes.

“It’s designed to where communities have to get hit to get access to hundreds of millions of dollars in litigation money,” Long said. “That’s a regressive process that’s got to change.”

The Department of Homeland Security said it’s getting different points of view from different states.

“We just spoke with some of the state emergency managers and homeland security advisors for many of the hurricane states,” Nielsen said. “It’s an important conversation. We have them often during hurricane season, as you know, but we take the opportunity just before to kick off hurricane season and understand from them what they are doing, what they might need, if there’s any challenges they foresee.”

Those who spoke agreed that it is a team effort between government agencies and residents.

“Bottom line is I don’t think we are going to get a pass this year. I think it’s going to be an active season, and rest assured that FEMA’s doing everything that it can to be prepared, but I want to stress that preparedness is everybody’s responsibility, not just FEMA’s,” Long said.

“It truly is the case that preparedness begins with each one of us within our communities, our families, our neighborhoods, our cities,” Nielsen said.

The Department of Homeland Security offers resources online. For a list, click here.

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