Coastal residents, you've been warned: Hurricane season has begun.
The six-month Atlantic hurricane season begins Wednesday and continues through Nov. 30.
Federal forecasters say they expect three to six major hurricanes from an above-average storm season.
Major hurricanes are storms with top winds of 111 mph and up. No major hurricanes have made a U.S. landfall in five years, but forecasters warn that luck might not last.
Southern New England is subject to coastal flooding, widespread wind damage and widespread inland small stream and river flooding from heavy rains, according to the state Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security.
Emergency managers urge residents to develop disaster plans and determine whether they live in evacuation zones.
“In addition to the potential of hurricanes, the summer months also bring power outages, summer heat and severe thunderstorms, having an emergency plan and a disaster supply kit in place can help residents and have the confidence to handle a number of situations” Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said.
The state has created an emergency preparedness guide to help you prepare.
Connecticut Light & Power and the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend preparing a "storm kit," or 'lights-out kit," and keep it handy.
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a hand-held can opener for any canned food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to build a shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Local maps
- Cell phone with charger
The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also wants residents to make social media part of their disaster plans, now that FEMA posts on Twitter and the National Hurricane Center has a Facebook page.
For more on past storms, see Ryan Hanrahan's blog, Way Too Much Weather.
The National Hurricane Center has published a list of names for storms on its Web page.