MIAMI (AP) — Coastal residents from Texas to Maine are being urged to prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season, which begins Sunday.

National Hurricane Center Director Bill Read, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and emergency management officials warned residents Thursday not to wait until a storm is approaching to stockpile three days worth of food and water. Florida's emergency management director, Craig Fugate, says residents need to be self-sufficient after a storm hits because it could be days before government services become available.

For 2008, researchers have predicted 15 named storms and a "better than average" chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S.

Hurricane season continues through Nov. 30