HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The Atlantic Hurricane season begins on June 1, and Mississippians along the Gulf Coast are encouraged to prepare for the storms.

Dr. David Holt, Associate Professor of Geography in the School of Coastal Resilience at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), said hurricane experts and models are predicting a slightly more active than average hurricane season. However, a big factor will be how an El Niño plays into the weather patterns.

“We are predicting a pretty strong El Niño by the end of the year,” said Holt. “It’s about a 90 percent chance.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an El Niño, is described as trade winds weakening and warmer weather is pushed east toward the west coast of the Americas. Many areas in the U.S. are warmer. Along the Gulf Coast, the weather is wetter and may bring increased flooding, especially in Florida.

Hurricane season ends November 30.

“You need to have your disaster list ready. Have water, get your canned goods make sure your generator works now, not 72 hours before a storm comes,” said Holt.

Some essential supplies during hurricane season are:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable food items and easy-to-prepare items
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Medications
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Cash
  • Extra fuel for generator or car
  • Copies of personal documents (house deeds/leases, birth certificates, insurance policies, medical information, proof of address)