RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — With Hurricane Season just a month away, the Governor’s Office is warning North Carolina to prepare.

Meteorologists at Colorado State University are predicting a busier-than-average storm season in 2022 with more named hurricanes than usual. The university’s forecast, released in April, calls for 19 named storms this year. Of the 19 named storms predicted this year, the CSU outlook expects nine to strengthen into hurricanes. Of those nine hurricanes, four are expected to be “major hurricanes.”

While it’s too early to predict North Carolina’s hurricane outlook for the year, Gov. Roy Cooper is warning North Carolinians to take action before Hurricane Season begins.

“North Carolina is prone to the impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and other severe weather,” Cooper said. “It’s important to be prepared by having a family emergency plan and emergency kit, which will help you to survive the impacts of a storm and recover faster.”

Hurricanes are more likely to kick up from June 1 through Nov. 30, and the past shows us that the coastal Tar Heel State sees its fair share.

Tropical Storm Fred struck Western North Carolina in 2021, and both Hurricane Isaias and Eta left behind damage the year before. Hurricane Dorian hit in 2019, and Hurricane Florence, along with Tropical Storms Michael and Alberto, struck in 2018. Hurricane Matthew was in 2016.

Forecasters say it’s the current La Niña conditions that could be paving the way for a more active Hurricane Season. La Niña conditions are lasting longer than expected and are likely to transition to an “ENSO-neutral” pattern (meaning neither La Niña nor El Niño conditions) sometime in the fall, but it seems unlikely that we’ll switch to an El Niño pattern in time for hurricane season.

“El Niño typically reduces Atlantic hurricane activity through increases in vertical wind shear,” explained CSU researchers Philip Klotzbach and Michael Bell in their report, but that seems unlikely in 2022.

The Governor’s Office encourages North Carolinians to set up an emergency plan, including details on how and where you would evacuate, a meeting place and important phone numbers. Creating your plan need only take a few minutes but could ultimately save the lives of you, your family and your friends. A public shelter should be the last resort.

Once you’ve got your emergency plan figured out, make sure to write it down and place it in a secure spot along with a copy of your driver’s license, insurance policies, medical records and bank account information.

You should also prepare an emergency kit. These kits make sure that anyone left without outside help will be able to take care of themselves for at least a few days. The kit should include enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days. Other essential items include:

  • First-aid kit
  • Weather radio and batteries
  • Prescription medicines
  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Changes of clothes
  • Hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
  • Cash
  • Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
  • Face masks and hand-sanitizer

You can also take preventative steps to avoid problems by trimming trees, covering windows and securing loose outdoor items before storms hit.