JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Saturday.

Last week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted an active 2013 hurricane season for the east coast. NOAA says there's a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms, of those, seven to 11 could become hurricanes.
That includes three to six MAJOR hurricanes, which are category three and up.

Channel 4 Hurricane Expert George Winterling agrees that this year could be active.

"It looks like a pretty ripe hurricane season because all of the ingredients are there." Winterling said. "It just depends what recipe mother nature is going to cook up for us."

Winterling says he'll be looking at the Bermuda high that usually pushes the storms more toward the Gulf and toward Central America. He says the last couple of years we've had some of them hitting the mid-Atlantic coast.

"Two years in a row, we had Irene two years ago and last year, we had Sandy. So the big question is, is that pattern going to continue this year? We'll be watching that very closely as the season progresses."

If it seems like the stronger hurricanes come later in the year, Winterling says that's when the ocean temperatures are warmest, especially the first week in September, giving storms an extra boost.

But George says you need to be prepared for storms to strike at any time.
And at hardware stores have several ways you can do that.

Home Depot manager Robert Ring says that's just the beginning. He says check your yard for things that could cause damage, like try limbs. Other items to consider buying, a generator and ASTRO guard, which Ring says protects better than plywood. Also sand for bags if your home is susceptible to flooding.

No matter what option you decide, Ring says start prepping now.