As the 2006 season shapes up, meteorologists are concerned that the country is ripe for a storm that could rival Katrina.
Hurricane Preparedness Week starts this week and FOX Fan Central wants to hear from YOU!
Do YOU think America is prepared for another major hurricane? And if not, what should be done to get ready?
Check out FOXNews.com's Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses Part One: Disaster Recovery Planning
Click on the links in the box on the right to read recent stories on this topic, then e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and jump into the debate!
Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
"According to the latest reports, the Atlantic waters are much cooler than last year. Will this make a difference? Possibly so. Mother Nature is difficult to predict at times. Hurricanes have been around forever. As to being prepared for another Katrina, it is not likely the government and/or states are prepared. I am certain that FEMA has learned much from its failures in responding to Katrina. The weather experts are saying that this country can expect at least 16 hurricanes this year, with at least three being very destructive storms. Let's just hope that we don't witness another Katrina this year." — Don (Bountiful, UT)
"I am prepared. My family and I have been through hurricanes before and undoubtedly will go through some again. I always keep hurricane supplies in my store room, I have two generators, lots of canned food, water, propane gas for the grille, gasoline for the generators so the refrigerator and freezer will work, plastic tarpaulins, roof shingles, tar paper, TYVEK, roofing nails, caulk, etc. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is: yes, I am prepared! However, those dummies that wait until an hour before the storm hits, or a few hours after it is over, to head out to find water and supplies should not whine and blame the government for their lack of preparedness. The season starts soon — get ready now!" — Pete (FL)
"We are not ready to throw more money at people who choose to live in a precarious situation and elect incompetent leaders." — Phil (Duncanville, TX)
"Nobody can prepare for storms/tornadoes/hurricanes, but people can minimize the impact of these natural catastrophes on their life and properties. Residents in natural catastrophe-prone areas should prepare themselves for such catastrophes. The local and state governments of those areas must also have disaster preparedness blueprints so that they can help their residents and constituents evacuate, provide temporary shelter, food, medical aid, and prevent anarchy, looting, and crime in the streets. The role of the feds is THIRD only to that of local and state government officials. That's why states and cities ELECT their own officials. New Orleans must be in denial of the inequities that Nagin displayed during the New Orleans disaster, as they re-elected him. They'll soon find out if it was wise of them to re-elect such an incompetent mayor this coming hurricane season." — Jade (Arizona)
"Of course we are NOT ready. All the government agencies involved are bilking money from the funds — including the Red Cross — and most especially, the corrupt Louisiana government officials. WHY should the rest of the country pay for Katrina? If you want the city built, RESIDENTS, then build it back yourself. They equate themselves with 9/11 victims and they all want a million dollars. I live in South Carolina — the hurricanes this year are supposed to hit the East Coast. If something happens here, we must depend on our own insurance, our own friends and family, our own reserve money and sweat equity AND our own ingenuity. Wake up Louisiana — do it yourselves." — Sandy (SC)
"As one who lives in Florida, I am satisfied that I personally am ready. We should be taking care of ourselves! As far as the federal government goes, I am more concerned with their ability to contain illegal immigration than I am for them to mitigate hurricane damage." — Paul (Cape Canaveral, FL)
"No, the entire Katrina incident was a debacle from day one, and we are no more prepared now. The levees aren't finished, the materials used for the levees is suspect, and FEMA is still in disarray. This administration is no more ready than it was last year. Billions have been spent on Iraq and billions for tax cuts for the rich but it seems New Orleans is not a priority. The priorities for this administration need to change from nation-building to working on the problems in this country. We need to clean house in Washington and put in some people who will concentrate on this country for a change." — A Disgusted Voter
"There is more than enough blame to go around for Katrina and the lack of preparedness. Yes, FEMA could not adequately respond (just like was predicted by the experts when it was decided to roll FEMA into DHS). But how about the two hundred million dollars that had been 'misplaced' over the past 20-plus years that was to be used by the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana to maintain, strengthen, and upgrade the levees? People do not want to think that it can happen to them — the mindset is that these things always happen to someone else." — John (Rio Rico, AZ)
"The moment we returned to Houston after Rita, my individual plan for my family was taking place for the next hurricane season. It has been ongoing all during the off season and I am about 90% through. The first step is to forget about outside help. You are on your own to do what it takes to protect your family and your home. Once you get this idea through your head and you realize exactly what it takes to do this, you can move forward with the rest of your plan. It really isn't difficult or time-consuming or very expensive. But it does take what is lacking in government: action." — Don
"Honestly, I believe that preparedness starts and mostly lies with the individual. Gather supplies, listen to the weather, leave if your officials call for an evacuation. Your life is certainly more important than your stuff. Be responsible for you. Have a plan that is reasonable for you and your resources. No one else can do that for you." — Laura (Colorado)
"Some communities may be better prepared than others, but as a whole, I don't think we're ready. Now I see that the residents of New Orleans have re-elected Ray Nagin. I guess last hurricane season and his incompetence weren't enough for the voters. I would think they might have had enough of him, but obviously they want him to 'lead' them again. Good luck with that." — Sheila (OK)
"There is no way to fully prepare for a major hurricane. Depending on the location, the catastrophes that can happen are endless. One can stock all the dry goods they can muster, and officials can have buses on standby and shelters ready. No one can predict what kind of damage will take place. Flooding, downed power lines, overflowing sewage, and gas leaks are just a few of the obvious dangers. Man versus nature is a no-win for man. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best." — Mark
"Other than making sure that the officials evacuate anyone without transportation who is within the area that's going to be hit by the storm, there isn't much anybody can do, but hope that the damage isn't too bad. We are truly helpless to minimize the destruction from a major hurricane. Blaming the federal government is an effort in futility. They are powerless to keep these storms from destroying any area." — Suzanne (Gainesville, GA)
"Instead of Iraq,how about spending some of that $9 billion a month on U.S. cities? What's with this? Matbe a hurricane should hit Washington." —
"I've personally seen only the devastation along Route 10 (west) beginning in the Florida panhandle and continuing across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisanna. And I really don't know how we could ever be prepared for nature of that magnitude. Sometimes I think we are thinking backwards, given the fragility of existing infrastructures, that we would ever be in a position to adequately protect/rescue/aid such a large number of people that are located in harm's way — And harm's way is expanding." — Jerry
"From what I have seen, a good share of New Orleans is very much a town of depravity. Plus, George W. and his pushing on Israel — GOD just allows things to remove depravity when the time is right. Now that they are trying to rebuild, it is hard to say what might hit them." — Ed (Oregon)
"How can any lay person answer this question? We don't know what preparations are or have been made. The people must be satisfied if they elected the same person who was so inept in the last disaster!" — Pat (OH)
"Fact: Hurricanes happen. No government can stop them.
Fact: People will choose to live where hurricanes can hit/hurt/kill them.
Fact: Those hit will scream words of entitlement.
Fact: The government will trip all over themselves and waste lots of money trying to help.
Fact: All of the above comments will apply when the same question is asked a year from now!" — Mike
"I live in one of the areas affected by Rita. There is so little we CAN do to prepare for a hurricane except evacuate! We cannot stop the wind, storm surge, rain or tornadoes. We just got our lives and homes put back in pre-Rita condition. Everything is referred to now as 'before the storm' or 'after Rita.' I can say that the only thing that our part of Texas has done is change a few routes for evacuation and secure fuel in case of a major evacuation order. These things will make a difference in the time spent to leave before the storm. Still, we cannot build a dome over our state, or Florida or North Carolina (just to name a few). I think all of the media attention that the disasters have gotten is what we needed to help us prepare. Knowledge is POWER!" — Marla (Beaumont, TX)
"Get Ray Nagin to handle all preparations. He did such a bang-up job for New Orleans last year! And those idiots re-elected him for mayor. What a joke!" — Dennis
"The cities, states and individuals have to bear the bulk of getting ready. Don't always rely on the Feds. This is not about entitlement." — Louis
"I wonder how many citizens have gotten ready. Having supplies and a game plan is our responsibility. If people are waiting on the government to save them, they are fools. It is NOT the responsibility of the government to protect us from natural disasters. As New Orleans showed us already, dependence on the government makes for a whole city of people who can't take care of or help themselves." — Julie (Houston)
"Preparing for any kind of natural disaster is the province of the individual, not the government. If people insist on living in known disaster areas, they are taking their lives in their own hands and are solely responsible for the consequences." — Robert
"The U.S. coastline is still not prepared for the next round of hurricanes. Can we quit pointing fingers and dig in locally? I believe that the Feds will never be able to cover all the natural (and man-made) disasters that potentially are coming our way. Let's see if the local residents can muster up enough courage to make the right decisions in electing the right leaders who will have a vision of individual preparation, and not rely so much on government! After all, the government didn't tell those people to live there! To me, it's a 'live there at your own risk' kind of thing. Knowing what we know about certain areas of the coastline, a person who lives on that coast line should be prepared for what potentially can happen there!" — Linda (Oklahoma)
"We're not prepared, we will never be prepared, and quite frankly, we can't be prepared. To confront a category five hurricane in Manhattan, or Boston, or Virginia Beach, or wherever, we would have to spend SO much money for a mere potentiality that it would be a waste of time, money, and resources. Imagine the budget to get all these cities on the coast 100% prepared! What about tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, another Mt. St Helens? The entire U.S. would be a giant bunker if we were to be 100% prepared. America, get a grip! Prepare yourself, and deal with the consequences. It's not the government's job to save us all. Take some responsibility for your own life and the lives of those you love. The government can't eliminate long lines at the DMV, yet you expect them to be mightier than nature when it comes to natural disasters. What will happen is unpreventable, and cannot be prepared for." — Ed (Clifton, NJ)
"No we're not! We have been too busy talking and complaining about last season and have probably missed getting ready for the monster that will surely be following it. Sometimes we Americans can get to talking so much that we forget what we were originally going to do." — Gary (Fairborn, OH)
"No, we're not prepared for another destructive hurricane season if victims are going to rely on FEMA or city government for leadership. New Orleans didn't learn its lesson after the mayoral race was tallied, and Nagin is back as an incompetent city mayor. Remember those FEMA trailers that were reportedly rotting away unused? They're still empty. That's sad." — John (Sturgis, SD)
"No, we are no more prepared now then we were before Katrina. All we have seen, or heard, is actually a lot of grandstanding, politicking, and shouting for more money! We have done little or nothing to actually prepare and/or protect ourselves. Talk, talk, talk. If another large hurricane hits the same areas, it will be truly ugly!" — Sam (Memphis, TN)
"I'd like to see the newly re-elected New Orleans mayor do something about hurricane preparedness, rather than sitting on his behind and pointing fingers. Enough with blaming the president for something that isn't his responsibility. Why else do we have governors and mayors? The president cannot know about or take care of every single issue in America. I live in an earthquake-prone state, and we have state and local government officials prepare us for such natural disasters. We do not rely on the president or federal government for preparedness or prevention. That is our state's job." — Sara (Los Angeles, CA)
"I don't think America is prepared for another major hurricane because too many cities are waiting for the federal government to revamp FEMA, and that is a mistake. Any city that has the potential to be struck by a hurricane needs to have its own emergency management plan and funding in place now, and its citizens must take responsibility for taking care of themselves. Too many citizens in this country look for government to come to the rescue in an emergency. Citizens need to learn to be self-sufficient — any assistance they do get from the government will be a bonus, rather than an expectation." — Tony (Charlotte, NC)