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World/National News

May 31, 2014

Obama says to prepare now for hurricane season

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging Americans to prepare for this year’s hurricane season.

Emergency response officials are briefing Obama on hurricane preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

Obama says states have the primary response role, but it’s a team effort.

Obama says it is every citizen’s responsibility to be prepared for emergencies. He’s urging every family and business to explore digital tools that can help. He says there are apps that can help people plan evacuation routes, receive emergency alerts, learn about power outages and locate gas stations.

But Obama says climate change means events like Hurricane Sandy will become more common. He says that’s why he’s taking steps to reduce carbon pollution blamed for global warming.

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season officially kicks off tomorrow and runs through Nov. 30. There are countless resources to keep track of tropical storms and hurricanes as they form and plow across the ocean, but here are five great ones that will help not only track individual storms but get a sense of how the season is progressing and put it in an historical context.

National Hurricane Center

The grandaddy of all tropical cyclone resources, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has a number of excellent ways to stay up-to-date. Their website provides a quick snapshot of the state of the tropics including maps, preparedness tips, and forecast and outlook discussions. Their Twitter feed for the Atlantic basin also provides regular updates if you want hurricane news mixed in with your cat photos and Kimye updates. The NHC also started maintaining a blog this year, fittingly called the Inside the Eye. Though there’s only one post now, it promises to include expert takes on tropical storms and other topics such as how to interpret forecasts.

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