Officials Urge Preparedness as Hurricane Season Begins

State and local officials are cautioning Floridians to be prepared as the 2016 hurricane season officially began Wednesday.

"We're thankful that we've had 10 years without a Hurricane," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said at a news conference Wednesday. "We should knock on as much wood as we can find."

Gov. Scott and other top state and local officials were in South Florida at the emergency operations center in Hialeah to discuss safety and being prepared for the worst.

"This year's budget invested more than $3 million in a new, in the Alert Florida system," Scott said. "Three million dollars to improve public Hurricane evacuation shelters."

The center in Hialeah is built to withstand a category 5 storm and is the designated operations hub during emergencies to ensure life-saving city services don't come to a halt in Hialeah and surrounding communities.

The state has invested millions to get the millions of people who call Florida home safely through a hurricane.

"It's a tremendous, tremendous impact on families, on homes, on communities and on the economy," Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera said.

Government forecasters expect a near-normal hurricane season on the Atlantic, with up to eight hurricanes and up to four major storms with winds hitting 111 mph or higher.

"With the team behind me, the team in Tallahassee, the team across the entire state and the help of all the Floridians we're going to make sure we're ready for and can respond to Hurricanes better than any other state in the country," said Bryan Koon with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Despite forecasters calling for an almost normal season experts say climate conditions are making it more challenging to predict just how many storms we'll see over the next six months.

For more information on how to prepare, check out Floridadisaster.org.

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