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National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014 runs from May 25 through May 31, but preparedness should continue throughout the hurricane season, according to experts.

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By identifying vulnerabilities and what actions should be taken, people can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.

For more tips, download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) from www.ready.gov/hurricanes. But remember, this is only a guide. The first and most important step anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

Additional online resources:

Watch and warning defined: www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/wwa.php

What is a hurricane hazard? www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/wwa.php

Storm surge explained: www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/