(WDVM) — It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week and Hurricane Hunters came to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to talk about the risks of hurricanes. We are less than a month until hurricane season arrives in the DMV. Robbie Berg is a Senior Hurricane Specialist with the National Hurricane Center based in Miami Florida. He explained what a hurricane is.

“A hurricane is a weather system that essentially is trying to move warm air from the tropics northward to what we call mid-latitude areas where it tends to be colder. It’s just the earth’s way of trying to balance the whole earth-atmosphere system.

When a hurricane makes landfall — lots of things can happen. Torrential rain to large amounts of water that are pushed onshore can cause catastrophic flooding. Hurricane-force winds can bring widespread power outages to an entire community. Long-tracked tornadoes can even spin up from a hurricane We were able to spend time with hurricane hunters and emergency management people on what you need to know to prepare you and your family.

“You have to be ready for the hazards… Michael Brennan, a Hurricane Storm Unit Branch Chief at the National Hurricane Center stated. “There are several life-threatening hazards associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. You get up into the mid-Atlantic states, storm surge, freshwater flooding, and can have wind, so all of those can result in various levels of risk for people in their location where they live.”

When it comes down to hurricanes entering our area, officials urge people to move away from the weather system… But… for Nikki Hathaway… she flys towards them. She is a Hurricane Hunter and one of the Flight Directors on board. She along with her team collects crucial data that save lives.

“So the data that we’re collecting life is going straight off our aircraft into computer models to the National Hurricane Forecasters’ desks. So they’re looking at it in real-time. The second we collected and then used that to essentially make their forecasts and that forecast is what goes out to the public officials, local emergency managers, and ultimately the public,” Hathaway said.

Jerica Shackelford works with Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the Nation’s Capital. She told WDVM that even though Washington D.C. is not a coastal area… she said people should still know some hazards that hurricanes can cause.

“The first thing is not to assume that just because we’re not on a coastal region we won’t be impacted by a hurricane. There are a lot of cascading effects like flooding, and high winds that can really cause a lot of damage, and loss of power. So be mindful by making sure that you have a preparedness kit,” Shackelford stated.

Experts said it’s important to have your plan in place so you know what to do in case a hurricane does come to affect you and your family. Hurricane season starts June 1. If you would like to know how to make a preparedness kit you can visit their website.