WILMINGTON -- Max Mayfield, the man who saw Americans through 34 years of hurricane tracking and two deadly hurricane seasons, is officially in retirement.
But his persistant message, to always be prepared, still resonates strongly with Wilmington weather officials.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington says whether it's hurricanes or tornadoes, people are just not ready for a major storm.
Mayfield would preach time and time again that the big one, a deadly hurricane more powerful than Katrina, will happen, and coastline communities like Wilmington are ignoring the warnings.
Mayfield and his former co-workers say people need to stop building near water, get a family evacuation plan, and most importantly get a weather radio.
Tom Matheson with the National Weather Service says lives in Riegelwood could have been saved if residents there had a plan and a weather radio to hear the warnings.