As June 1 approaches — the official opening of the Atlantic hurricane season — Americans again brace themselves for an active storm season.

National Weather Service forecasters expect 13 to 17 tropical storms this season, with seven to 10 of them becoming hurricanes and three to five of them in the “strong” category. Last year, there were 10 tropical storms in the Atlantic and two made landfall in the United States, according to The Associated Press.

To prepare for potential needs in the Southeast United States and in areas around the Gulf of Mexico, Anheuser-Busch has pre-staged 12,850 cases of canned drinking water, enabling relief agencies to deliver water immediately should a hurricane strike these areas.

Shipments were delivered this week to local Anheuser-Busch wholesalers Daytona Beverages, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Wayne Densch Inc., Sanford, Fla.; and North Florida Sales, Jacksonville, Fla. A total of 4,300 cases were also shipped to the Jacksonville brewery and 2,150 cases were shipped to the Houston brewery. If needed, the water will be shipped to an area in need and distributed by the American Red Cross and other relief agencies.

“No matter when and where disaster strikes, Anheuser-Busch and its wholesalers are always among the first on the scene, helping our neighbors get back on their feet,” said Peter Kraemer, vice president of operations for Anheuser-Busch. “It’s important for communities to pull together and lend a helping hand in times of need and we’re proud to provide packaged water to those affected by natural disasters.”

Nearly two years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on its Gulf Coast rampage, the nation’s largest brewer continues to partner with the American Red Cross and other relief agencies to provide drinking water to devastated areas in Mississippi and Louisiana. The white cans of drinking water have become a staple at American Red Cross relief centers across the Southeast.

“Anheuser-Busch is in a unique position to provide water to those in need. Few corporations have the infrastructure to package beverages and distribute them quickly to our local wholesalers,” said Kraemer. “When a natural disaster strikes, very simply put, we have a responsibility to package and provide water to our neighbors, and we’re proud to do so.”

The drinking water was packaged at the Anheuser-Busch Cartersville, Ga., brewery and Metal Container Corp. in Rome, Ga., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Cos., supplied the cans. The delivery of the water is being made possible by several independent carriers.

Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch has donated 59.3 million cans of drinking water following natural disasters. Just in the past three years Anheuser-Busch has responded to calls for help from the Red Cross and emergency management agencies for victims of severe storms in St. Louis, flooding in New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, drought conditions in Phoenix, tornadoes in Indiana and Illinois, storms and flooding in Kentucky and wildfires in New Mexico, Georgia and Florida.

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