FORT STEWART, Ga. - Hurricane season officially started on June 1, and the threat of hurricane Alex, the name chosen for this year's first storm, striking somewhere along the coast of Georgia poses a real threat until the season is over on November 30.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this hurricane season has a 70 percent chance of producing eight to 14 hurricanes, three to seven of which have the potential to be major hurricanes.

Readiness is a value extolled by Col. Robert A. Warburg as seen in the motto of his 188th Infantry Brigade - Battle Ready. "It is essential for Soldiers and their families to be prepared," said Warburg. "As we enjoy our summer, while also preparing for our next mission, we all should take the time to make sure our house is in order."

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, you should try to take the following precautions to prepare for a hurricane:

Aca,!Ac Make plans to secure your property.
Aca,!Ac Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure.
Aca,!Ac Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
Aca,!Ac Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
Aca,!Ac Determine how and where to secure your boat.
Aca,!Ac Consider building a safe room.

To be properly prepared residents may also want to consider purchasing emergency supplies and storing them in waterproof containers. Check your renter's or homeowner's insurance policy and find out the details about what is or is not covered in the event of a hurricane. Also, find out where the evacuation routes are and plan several places to go (family or friends out of the area) in case of emergency. Evacuation routes can be found at

"The local television and radio stations will provide up-to-date information on storms and are a good place to stay current on developing conditions," said Lt. Col. Bernard Williams, 188th Infantry Brigade safety officer. "If you receive a hurricane warning in your area you should finish up your preparations and continue to monitor conditions," said Williams.

The 188th Infantry Brigade, along with the other training support brigades in First Army Division East, provides and facilitates theater-focused training for deploying National Guard and Reserve formations. Based out of Fort Stewart, the 188th has been training deploying National Guard and Reserve units for Iraq deployments continuously since 2003.