Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff joined Governor Easley Monday to urge North Carolina residents to prepare themselves for this year's hurricane season.
Chertoff says it's important for people to stock emergency supplies and make disaster plans with their families.
While the federal government stands ready to help the state if necessary, he says disaster planning must start on the local level.
Both he and Easley warned residents not to be complacent after last year's hurricane season left the East Coast unscathed.
Chertoff says the federal government, through Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will step in whenever needed to help states.