President Barack Obama said Americans should get survival kits and stay vigilant because global warming is going to bring “more powerful and more devastating” hurricanes to the U.S.
“And that means taking proactive steps, like having an evacuation plan, having a fully stocked disaster supply kit,” Obama said Tuesday during a meeting with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials. “If your local authorities ask you to evacuate, you have to do it; don’t wait.”
Obama went on to warn that as global warming becomes more prevalent hurricanes would become more destructive.
“All of us have seen the heartbreak, the damage and, in some case, the loss of life that hurricanes can cause,” Obama said. “And as climate continues to change, hurricanes are only going to become more powerful and more devastating.”
The government plays an important role in lessening the effects of hurricanes, Obama said, “but it is every citizen’s responsibility to be prepared for a disaster. And that means taking proactive steps, like having an evacuation plan, having a fully stocked disaster supply kit. If your local authorities ask you to evacuate, you have to do it. Don’t wait.”
In particular, officials in the Obama administration warn areas such as South Florida are particularly susceptible to devastating hurricanes because man-made global warming has caused sea levels to rise in those areas.
There are regions in “South Florida where we have seen sea levels rise and begin to encroach on populated land,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a press conference. “That makes the potential impact of storm surge associated with a significant hurricane even more dangerous.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for its part, claims this year’s hurricane season will, in all probability, “be near-normal.”
NOAA calculates there is a “45 percent chance” the U.S. will undergo a normal, everyday run-of-the-mill hurricane season.
In fact, the last major hurricane to devastate the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma, in 2005.
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