Early hurricane prompts preparedness warnings

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Alex is first hurricane of what's expected to be an active hurricane season and it is the first June hurricane from the Atlantic in over a decade.

Even though Alex is spinning out in the gulf, Alicia Bastian with Horry County Emergency Management says it should serve as a reminder for people  to get prepared.

"I think you should have a plan no matter where you live," Bastian explained. "If you're in Florence, or even if you're in the Upstate, because the storm obviously comes inland, which can produce inland tornadoes. So even though we might get the immediate effects, storm surge, higher winds of a hurricane, the effects can go all the way up the eastern seaboard."

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they expected between 14 and 23 named storms, with eight to ten of those reaching hurricane strength.

Bastian says emergency officials are prepared for this active season and she encourages everyone to make sure they have a plan in place.

"What they can do now is have a plan," Bastian said.  "They can make their out of state contacts. They can have a to-go kit ready, and know what they're going to do if the storm starts heading this way. If they're going to board up their home, if they're going to evacuate, where they need to go."

According to the National Hurricane Center, a Category One hurricane includes winds between 74 and 95 miles an hour and usually produces some damage.

Winds for a Category Two storm are considered extremely dangerous and range from 96 to 110 miles per hour.

Category Three storms are classified as "devastating" with winds up to 130 miles per hour.

The National Hurricane Center says Category Four storms pose a significant risk of injury or death to people with winds between 131 and 155 miles an hour.

A Category Five hurricane is the strongest with winds exceeding 155 miles per hour.

Atlantic hurricane season goes until the end of November.

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