(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - As a new hurricane season begins, there are scars from last year's storms that still haven't healed.
"A lot of ups and downs ... Very emotional, very trying for a lot of us," Chris Squeri, a Freeport, N.Y. business owner, says.
Forecasters warn this season could bring close to a dozen hurricanes, with as many as six of those major storms being a Category 3 or higher.
"We know it's predicted to be a very active season," Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson.
This could be another rough season. One thing meteorologists can't predict is where the violent storms will strike, which is why first responders stress it's important that hundreds of thousands who live in high risk areas be prepared.
"Don't hesitate. When the evacuation order is given, know where you are going, have a plan, take your pets. Go!" FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says.
Plans are already in place on the oil rigs that dot the warm waters of the Gulf.
"In an event of a hurricane we'd have to get all this stuff rigged down, should take us about a day and a half or so," David Bond, operations supervisor, says.
It's precious time to prepare for the effects of a hurricane that could last much longer.