DENTON, Texas -- One major hurricane and two tropical storms, which resulted in federal disaster declarations, serve as reminders to Arkansans that now is the time to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
The 2012 Hurricane Season begins on June 1, and while experts are predicting a slower season than in past years, most of the predictions still call for at least a normal amount of activity. The 50 year average is a little over 11 named storms, six of those becoming hurricanes and two becoming major ones – Category 3 or higher.
Reports show that Arkansas has had three storms that resulted in federal declarations. One was an emergency declaration for a hurricane and the other two for tropical storms that were downgraded from hurricanes by the time they moved into Arkansas.
The hurricane was Katrina (2005) and the tropical storms were Gustav and Ike (2008). All three occurred in the last decade and resulted in Arkansas receiving a total of $51.9 million in federal disaster aid under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance program.
The state received an emergency declaration after Katrina impacted Louisiana. The funding was made available to reimburse Arkansas for its costs related to housing Katrina evacuees. Meanwhile, tropical storms Gustav and Ike brought inland flooding to Arkansas and caused major damage to its public infrastructure.
“These statistics more than demonstrate the need for all Arkansans to be prepared,” said Acting FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “We say it often, but it’s the best way to get a clear message out there – Get a Kit, Make a Plan and Stay Informed.
Volunteering is one way to be prepared to help others. Use VolunteerMatch to locate local Red Cross volunteer opportunities in your community. You can also visit www.citizencorps.gov for ways to help and be prepared.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.