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Easley Urges N.C. Residents To Be Ready For Hurricane Season

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RALEIGH, N.C. — On Monday, Gov. Mike Easley proclaimed May 15-21

hurricane preparedness week

, just as a new survey of residents from Florida to Maine shows that people are not worried about hurricane season.

The Mason-Dixon poll indicates most people along the East and Gulf coasts do not plan to take even simple steps to protect their families and homes from a hurricane.

One-fourth of the people surveyed said they did not feel vulnerable to a hurricane. About 42 percent said they would only evacuate if ordered. One in five said they would not evacuate under any circumstances.

The poll also exposes some dangerous myths. One in four people believe they could leave low-lying areas just an hour or less before a hurricane hits. And more than half of those surveyed said masking tape can stop glass from shattering, which experts say is not true.

Easley said he wants everyone to develop a kit and a strategy before hurricane season, which begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Easley also said that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts another active hurricane season for 2005.

Between 1980 and 2004, North Carolina ranked at the top of the nationwide list for the number of billion-dollar weather disasters.

Easley says residents across the state are still trying to recover from the 2004 hurricane season that left hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and more than a dozen deaths.

North Carolina residents should know evacuation routes, what to do with family pets, and establish a contact person for family members to notify in the case of a separation, Easley said.

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