SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s deputy administrator, Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) visited the Hostess City Friday as hurricane season gets underway.

The pair met with the Chatham Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, city officials and local faith leaders on strengthening coastal defenses.

“Today we had a robust discussion about how to improve our coordination, open lines of communication and prepare at all levels of government in anticipation of severe storms that are likely to impact this part of our state.”

The senator echoed FEMA Deputy Administrator Erik Hooks’ five points for preparedness:

  1. Prepare now your evacuation plan
  2. Build a disaster kit
  3. Make plans now to rapidly prepare your home and/or business
  4. Engage with others – family, neighbors and friends
  5. Listen to advisories and directives from officials, credible media

“We are more concerned about safeguarding lives than we are property,” Hooks said. “So, that is why there is the encouragement to make a plan early, fortify your homes and businesses as best you can. But your life is more important than any amount of property you may have.”

With the NOAA predicting a more active than usual hurricane season, Ossoff encouraged residents to make a plan as soon as possible.

“Preparedness does not prevent storms — and storms are coming,” Ossoff said. “And so the second important message today is that all of us in the community have to take steps to prepare.”

In March, the senator visited Tybee Island touting legislation that would extend the city’s beach renourishment plan for the next 50 years.

“The whole issue of dune development and beach renourishment is about public safety,” Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions said. “It’s about if there’s a storm, if there’s a hurricane, the erosion – how we can protect our businesses, most importantly protect our residents.

Ossoff said the act has not yet passed the Senate but he’s working to maximize prospects to ensure protection from sea level rise, storm surge, coastal flooding and other climate change impacts is passed.

Watch the full briefing here: