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South Florida Officials Urge Hurricane Planning

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DORAL (CBSMiami/AP) — Are you ready for hurricane season? It’s right around the corner and South Florida officials are urging residents to prepare.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Commission Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa, county commissioners and the American Red Cross South Florida Region were on hand Tuesday for an event at the county’s Emergency Operations Center in Doral.

Meanwhile, U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson joined other elected officials and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials in Miami to discuss the roles of government agencies before, during and after hurricanes.

Wasserman Schultz said she’s confident that South  Florida’s emergency managers are prepared to help the region cope with any hurricane that might strike this year.

NOAA showed Wasserman Schultz one of the new small drones researchers plan to drop into storms this year in the hopes of learning more about how storms strengthen.

Hurricane center deputy director Ed Rappaport said his forecasters are focusing on improving information about storm surge threats. He said 50 years of data shows that water was to blame for about 90 percent of hurricane fatalities, while storm winds caused just 8 percent.

Federal forecasters predict a slower-than-usual Atlantic hurricane season, with eight to 13 named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. Just one or two major hurricanes with maximum sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or higher are forecast.

The six-month storm season begins June 1.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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