Our Views: Prepare now for big storms

After seeing what hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Isaac did to south Louisiana in the past few years, we’d love to see a quiet and uneventful hurricane season this year. Louisiana residents could certainly use the break from big storms for a while.

But hoping for the best isn’t much of a policy when it comes to emergency preparedness, so we urge residents who haven’t already done so to stock up on emergency supplies.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and concludes on Nov. 30. Those months are considered the most likely time for a hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean.

This year’s forecast from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an above-average season with 13 to 20 named storms that have wind speeds of at least 39 mph. Of those storms, NOAA predicts that seven to 11 of them will become hurricanes with wind speeds of at least 74 mph. The forecast also calls for three to six of those storms to grow into major hurricanes with wind speeds of at least 111 mph.

Now is the time to stock up on batteries, first aid items and other hurricane supplies.

We’re crossing our fingers and wishing that no hurricanes threaten south Louisiana this year. Even so, it’s best to be prepared.