Pres. Obama called for every American to put together a disaster supply kit and evacuation plan because climate change is bringing “more powerful and more devastating” hurricanes to the U.S. – even though the U.S. hasn’t been hit with a major hurricane in more than a decade.
Announcing the June 1 start of hurricane season, Obama warned Americans to prepare for imminent climate change-caused hurricanes:
“All of us have seen the heartbreak, the damage and, in some case, the loss of life that hurricanes can cause. And as climate continues to change, hurricanes are only going to become more powerful and more devastating.
“One of the things that we have learned over the course of the last seven and a half years is that government plays a vital role, but it is every citizen’s responsibility to be prepared for a disaster. And that means taking proactive steps, like having an evacuation plan, having a fully stocked disaster supply kit. If your local authorities ask you to evacuate, you have to do it.Don’t wait.”
Obama chastised Americans for their “complacency,” and told them to be ready to evacuate when the climate-caines hit:
“And what we’ve been seeing is some public complacency slipping in; a large portion of people not having preparedness kits, not having evacuation plans. We’ve been stagnant a little bit with respect to the number of people, the percentage of people who respond to an evacuation order. All that has to pick up, because we want to make sure that, although it’s hard to prevent property damage, that we are doing everything we can to prevent loss of life.”
There’s even an app to help Americans prepare for the destruction to come, Obama said:
“If you need information about how to put together an evacuation plan, how to put together a disaster preparedness kit, as Craig said, we’ve got an app for everything now. We have a FEMA app in English and in Spanish to help you prepare your family for a disaster.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. has now gone a record 127 straight months without a major hurricane making landfall – and the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration (NOAA) is predicting a “near normal” Atlantic hurricane season this year.
For the past ten-plus years, “normal” has meant no major hurricanes – even with the effects (if any) of climate change – so “near normal” suggests the U.S. will remain safe from climate-caused hurricane devastation.