Leonardtown, MD – The 2018 Hurricane Season officially begins this Friday, June 1 and runs until November 30. However, the first named Atlantic storm “Alberto” has already made landfall in Florida and will impact our weather later this week with the possibility of heavy rains.

Staying safe during the hurricane season starts with a simple step: Have A Plan. People can plan for hurricanes by using a simple guide at Ready.gov. Plans should be worked out for all family members. For those animal lovers out there … you need a plan as well.

The plan includes figuring out how to determine whether it’s safe to hunker down at home during a storm or whether you will need to evacuate. If so, there is likely a specific route you should take in the event of evacuations, as many roads may be closed. If you have to leave your home, you also need to determine accommodations during the storm — this could be anything from staying with family and friends to renting a motel to staying in a shelter.

Many times family members have trouble  reaching each other during hurricanes, so determining a preset meeting place and protocol can be helpful. Sometimes, local cellphone lines are overloaded during a storm, so consider texting. Another alternative is to have a central out-of-state contact who can relay messages between separated family members.

The following hurricane names could come into play during the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season (including the North Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico) according to the World Meteorological Organization:

                    Alberto                                      Helene                                      Oscar
                    Beryl                                          Isaac                                         Patty
                    Chris                                          Joyce                                        Rafael
                    Debby                                        Kirk                                          Sara
                    Ernesto                                      Leslie                                        Tony
                    Florence                                    Michael                                     Valerie
                   Gordon                                      Nadine                                      William