Federal, state and local officials are urging Mississippi coastal residents to begin preparations now for the 2007 hurricane season, if they haven't already.
Forecasters from Miami to Colorado are predicting an active season with up to 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and as many as five major hurricanes. The season runs through November 30th.
In Mississippi, experts all say the same thing: plan ahead, stock up. They say preparedness it the key to personal safety.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is advising residents to leave when an evacuation is ordered rather than waiting until a storm gets closer, especially if their home isn't sturdy.
Emergency officials say residents should have a hurricane-supply kit with at least five days' worth of food and water, and they also should figure out what route they will take if they decide to evacuate.