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Ref: Severe weather conference in Baltimore to highlight hurricane preparedness


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POSTED: 6:34 pm EDT April 12, 2007
UPDATED: 8:06 pm EDT April 12, 2007
BALTIMORE -- The upcoming hurricane season begins June 1, and experts say it could be an active one.
At the 22nd Annual Severe Storms Awareness Conference on Thursday, experts spoke to Maryland emergency managers and first responders to discuss preparedness.
"Last year's suppression of the hurricane season is gone. We are probably headed to a more active season," said Bill Proenza, the new director of the National Hurricane Center.
In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel hit Maryland, forcing people to evacuate their homes and causing severe damage and flooding.
"No one knows whether or not you're going to get hit on the East Coast. So what you want to do is be prepared equally as well this year as last year or the year before," said Dr. Steve Lyons, hurricane expert for The Weather Channel.
"The seasonal forecast is calling for an above-average season. Some of the forecasters (are calling for) as high as 17 named storms -- some of them as low as 7," Lyons said.
Officials in Maryland are making sure the area is prepared for storms that do come along.
"All those things we say every year are still true. Prepare yourself and your family to take care of yourselves for 72 hours, at least. If you're in an area near where water floods and your local emergency managers ask you to evacuate, make sure you have a place to go," said John Droneburg, of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
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