MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – The Atlantic Hurricane season officially begins on June 1, and it’s time to start thinking about what to do if one hits.

The National Weather Service teamed up with officials in Carteret County for an expo on how to prepare. Hurricane Preparedness Week is to remind residents to prepare, plan and stay informed ahead of hurricane season.

“They don’t need to wait until June 1, they need to go ahead and be prepared all year,” said Carteret Emergency Services Director Stephen Rea.

According to the National Weather Service, Eastern North Carolina is one of the most prone in the entire United States for hurricanes and tropical systems.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is on the category of the storm. It’s only related to wind,” said Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Erik Heden. “We respect it, but it doesn’t tell you anything about how much rain we’re going to have, how long the storm is going to sit here.”

Officials remind people that it’s important to prepare ahead of time, by double-checking your emergency kits…

“Check their hurricane kits, make sure that they don’t have any expired equipment, make sure that they have new batteries and make sure that they are gathering water and food throughout the year,” said Rea.

That includes having a plan of what you’ll do if and when one hits.

“You really want to look at your vulnerability today. Are you close to water? Do you live in a structure that wouldn’t be able to get through high winds like you would have in a hurricane?” said Heden. 

“Include those decisions with everybody in your household. What’s your risk level? Do you have elderly in your home? Do you need power because you’re on oxygen? Do you have pets?” he added.

They add it’s important to think about what to do to recover following a hurricane also.

“We want to emphasize that around half of all deaths and hurricanes occur after the storm,” said Heden. “Not knowing how to use your generator, carbon monoxide poisoning, traveling through water that you shouldn’t. So do not let your guard down once a storm passes.”

Click here for more information and resources on hurricane preparations, click here.