Advice from the state emergency management agency

To mark the start of the hurricane season June 1, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration released its forecast, predicting an above average 10-16 named storms, one to four of which should achieve hurricane status. One storm, Alberto, has affected Mexico and the southeastern and midwestern U.S.

Delaware residents and property owners are encouraged to prepare for any storms that could affect Delaware. Actions taken now may help protect lives and minimize property damage in the event a tropical storm or hurricane.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency advises residents to:

— Prepare a home emergency kit. Items to include are water, a gallon per day for each person living in the house for three days; three-day supply of nonperishable food; battery-powered or hand-cranked radio with NOAA weather band; flashlights or battery powered lanterns; first aid kit; manual can opener; and cellphone chargers. Prescription medications should be kept up to date.

— Know potential evacuation routes. If instructed to evacuate, do so quickly. Plan now where to go. Options may include the home of a friend or relative outside the affected area or an out-of-town hotel. Emergency shelters should be a last resort. To help plan evacuation routes, visit deldot.gov/information/projects/tmt/evac_map.shtml.

— If evacuating, remember to take proof of residence such as a utility bill, as this may be the only way that law enforcement officials will allow returning to the evacuated area.

— Establish a family communication plan. Emergencies don’t always happen when the entire family is together at home, so set procedures on how family members will communicate where they are and let friends and loved ones know they are safe.

— Don’t forget pets. Make sure there are emergency supplies of food and water for them also, and include household pets in evacuation plans.

— When a possible storm is being talked about, stay current as to the latest forecast and storm track. Local television and cable stations, along with local radio can keep information up to date.

— As a storm approaches, check on neighbors who may have functional needs or are elderly. Make sure they are prepared if they need to evacuate.

For more, visit preparede.org or ready.gov.