Dr. William Gray at Colorado State University has released his latest updated forecast for the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season. He's now predicting 14 storms this year, eight of them hurricanes and three of them intense hurricanes, which means category three or above.
The official hurricane season begins on June 1 and state Emergency Management Director Craig Fugate says now is the time to prepare for the worst.
"Hurricane season is two months away. There is no place in Florida that has never been hit by a hurricane. The entire state has a vulnerability to these storms. It's well documented. Take the time not to start preparing, particularly your family, your business. Don't wait until a storm is threatening the coast to start wondering what you should do. You've got plenty of time now."
Fugate says a little preparation now can save a lot of panic when the storms begin.
"You could take the approach of 'run away, run away.' or you could take the approach: learn about the hazards, learn how to protect yourself, have a plan. We know hurricanes are going to happen. They're part of our environment, much better to learn about them and learn how to live with them than to ignore them and risk the consequences."
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 until the end of November.