Video: Arlene soaks Cuba
updated 6/10/2005 5:10:08 PM ET 2005-06-10T21:10:08

Arlene, the first tropical storm of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, is headed toward the U.S. gulf coast after drenching Cuba. As of early Friday, Arlene is expected to make landing somewhere between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle on late Saturday or early Sunday.

Meteorologists do not think Arlene will reach hurricane strength, but residents in potentially affected areas are urged to take necessary precautions.

In the midst of the preparation for this storm, most the areas in Arlene's path are still recovering from the losses they suffered at the hands of various hurricanes last year.

NBC's Janet Shamlian spoke with Emergency Preparedness Director Jeff Moon of Orange Beach, Ala., Friday morning to learn how residents in the area were preparing for Arlene.

Video: Gulf prepares for Arlene

Janet Shamlian: They are taking it very serious here, and even though she may come across as a tropical storm, Arlene would be a very unwelcomed guest. This community and many others close to it are still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Ivan last September and there are lots of pieces to pick up. In fact, this morning, the sounds on the beach here are of construction equipment, as they continue the rebuilding process.

Jeff, what are you doing right now to prepare for Arlene?

Jeff Moon: We're trying to prepare as best we can. We're going around out into the different city facilities securing the outside and making sure generators work and are properly fueled; going around to construction sights making sure they're securing heavy equipment, cranes and building supplies.

Shamlian: And there are a lot of cranes due to construction. You guys are just nine months past Hurricane Ivan, what are the lessons learned?

Moon: Well, I think the lessons learned are, you have to be prepared. You have to take it seriously even though it's a tropical storm or its projected to be a tropical storm. So you have to prepare your residents for it. Make sure you're properly supplied.

MSNBC Live with Amy Robach and Randy Meier can be seen weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon.

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