NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Although June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, states along the East Coast encourage people to be ready ahead of the start date.

Hurricane Preparedness Week takes place May 6 through May 12, reminding everyone to start gathering items and having evacuation plans set before the season begins. Forecasters expect it to be a busy one with 14 tropical storms.

Of those, seven are predicted to become hurricanes with wind speeds in excess of 74 miles per hour and three of those could be major, with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

That's meteorologists' "best guess" at the moment. Remember: it only takes one storm in a busy or even quiet year to become memorable.

The 13News Now Hurricane Guide provides valuable information that can help you ensure that you and your family are ready.

Here are some questions to ask yourself ahead of this season and those to come:

Am I in an evacuation zone?

The State of Virginia encourages everyone to Know Your Zone. The Department of Emergency Management offers an array of information when it comes to hurricane preparedness, including a map showing all of the state's tiered evacuation zones and evacuation routes.

What do I need in my supply kit?

You'll want to have enough non-perishable food, medicines and water to last each person in your family for at least one week. Don't forget cash -- ATMs won't work if the power goes out -- and batteries for cell phones, radios and other devices.

Preparing for a hurricane: Here are the supplies you need.

Is my stuff protected?

If something happens with your belongings and property, you'll want to land back on your feet as quickly as possible. Check through your renter or homeowner insurance.

Consider flood insurance, too. But remember: there usually is a 30-day waiting period for it to go into effect, and you don't want to get it after the storm.

What's a watch? What's a warning?

You'll have some 48 hours if a hurricane watch is issued for your area and even less time if a warning is issued -- here's what they mean. That's not quite the time to get your supplies ready to go but the time to act -- and move, if you have to.

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