With hurricane season approaching, now is the time to take inventory of supplies and assess plans that ensure you and your family are prepared for any potential storms.

Hurricane season officially starts June 1, but this week marks National Hurricane Preparedness Week, an opportunity to consider readiness in the event of a severe weather emergency.

Forecasters predict a below-normal season that could include eight tropical storms, four hurricanes and one major hurricane.

“We’ve already had a named storm, Tropical Storm Ana, which arrived three weeks before the start of the season,” said Jeff Morgan, UCF’s director of security and emergency management. “It is important for us all to understand that although it is predicted to be a below-normal season, it only takes one storm to change our lives, so we must prepare early.”

UCF, a leader in emergency preparedness, is the largest “StormReady” university in the country, a National Weather Service designation that was first given to UCF in 2010. The title means that UCF offers a number of resources to keep its community safe and prepared.

UCF can’t control the weather, but the university does monitor it 24/7 thanks to a campus Emergency Operations Center that tracks severe weather and has the ability to receive weather warnings from multiple sources.

The Office of Emergency Management monitors weather using weather sensors, rain gauges, multiple Internet radar sources and their strong working partnership with the National Weather Service Melbourne. The office communicates updates to the UCF community through UCF Alert text messages and emails, indoor and outdoor sirens, the UCF website, social media and more.

Last year, Emergency Management launched a new listserv for students, faculty and staff to receive severe weather bulletins about severe weather that could impact UCF’s campuses.

The “OEM NOTICE” listserv does not replace UCF Alert, which remains the first way the UCF community will be notified of an existing emergency or threat to UCF’s campuses. Rather, the listserv is an additional resource that will notify those who sign up of potential weather-related threats to campus.

Additional severe weather resources and information about how to sign up for the listserv are available at www.emergency.ucf.edu/hurricanes.html. The website includes tips for hurricane preparedness, a guide for building an emergency kit and instructions for seeking shelter.