NEW ORLEANS (AP) — FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program are urging people on the Gulf and East coasts to act now to prepare for hurricane season and buy flood insurance.

They sent news releases to coastal cities on Tuesday. The Hurricane Center said Tuesday that a tropical depression is likely to form in the Gulf of Mexico by the end of the week.

The statements from the flood insurance program and Federal Emergency Management Agency note that an inch of water in an average home can require $25,000 in repairs, and that flood insurance policies need 30 days to take effect.

The agencies recommend other measures including an evacuation plan and an emergency kit with at least three days' supplies.

The hurricane season runs through November.

More information is available at www.floodsmart.gov .

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