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      Preparation ongoing for possible wicked weather

      Gov. Mark Sanford says preparation may be the key to safely overcoming the possible wrath from Mother Nature.

      Hurricane season is in full swing. Already this year, the National Weather Service is predicting an active season; 23 storms and as many as nine could become hurricanes.

      Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and at times uncooperative.

      "They are predicting a very active hurricane season," said Derrec Becker with South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

      The division is gearing up for the possibility of wicked weather.

      "We may be overdue for a hurricane, well that's certainly on our minds as we head into the prime and the peak of hurricane season which would be in August or September," said Becker. "So it's important for people to be prepared."

      On Thursday the division simulated what could happen if Mother Nature kicked things into high gear. Governor Mark Sanford participated in the mock demonstration. Sanford says preparation is key.

      "I think it's important from a policy standpoint not to become complacent with the fact that we haven't been hit,' said Sanford. "So what you have is folks who literally gear up ever year."

      It's an effort to help prevent South Carolina from becoming stuck in Mother Nature's unpredictable grip. Governor Sanford and his trusted team of weather experts say Hurricane Hugo in 1989 continues to stand as a sobering reminder that severe weather can strike at any time.

      "Thou some folks don't think about hurricanes in the Midlands--I had many friends who had trees down in their yards, electricity down, all kinds of things that surprised them," said Sanford. "Because they didn't think that could happen in the Midlands."

      But toppled trees and hard-hit homes could once again become reality.

      "South Carolina isn't susceptible to pretty much everything but a volcano," said Becker. "You don't think it's going to happen to you. Have a plan, have a kit and be ready."

      Because good preparation may be the key to safely overcoming the possible wrath from Mother Nature.