As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, Governor Roy Cooper is urging North Carolinians to learn about and prepare for the dangers of severe tropical weather in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
“Severe tropical weather can have devastating impacts on communities across the state and the best way to prepare is by having a family emergency plan and kit,” Governor Cooper said. “These small steps now can bring big relief for people trying to stay safe during a storm and recover more quickly after it’s over.”
“Part of being prepared includes practicing what is in your emergency plan, so that everyone in your household is comfortable with their role in the plan,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director, Will Ray.
The plan should include details on how and where you would evacuate, a meeting place, and important phone numbers. Everyone should have an evacuation plan to stay with family or friends, or at a hotel outside the affected area. Staying at a public shelter should be a last resort, not your primary plan. Offer to share your home as a shelter location for family or friends from coastal or flood prone areas.
Be sure to write down your plan and gather important documents, such as copy of driver’s license, insurance policies, medical records, and bank account information, and put them somewhere you can quickly access in case of emergency. In addition to practicing your emergency plan, the Governor encourages North Carolina residents to have flood insurance, which is not normally part of homeowner’s insurance policies. Residents should also review and update homeowners or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they are current and include adequate coverage for their current situation.
Governor Cooper also emphasizes that all North Carolinians should be looking out for one another by checking on their neighbors, especially the elderly who may be more vulnerable.
Having an emergency kit allows people to survive for a few days with little or no outside assistance. Assemble an emergency supplies kit that includes enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days. Other essential items include:
- First-aid kit
- Weather radio and batteries
- Prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
- Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
- Face masks and hand-sanitizer
Residents should pay attention to weather and evacuation information from local news media and have a battery-powered radio in case there is a power outage. If asked to evacuate, residents should promptly follow evacuation instructions.
To help mitigate damage to your home from severe weather, people can take common sense measures such as trimming trees, covering windows, securing loose outdoor items before severe weather strikes.
North Carolina continues to recover from the devastating effects of multiple large storms including Hurricane Ian, which brought wind, rain, isolated tornadoes and power outages to North Carolina. Tropical Storm Fred caused devastation and six deaths in Western North Carolina two years ago. In 2020 Hurricane Isaias and the remnants of Hurricane Eta pummeled parts of the state; as did Hurricane Dorian in 2019; Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storms Michael and Alberto in 2018; and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
More information on emergency planning, preparedness and hurricanes is online at ReadyNC.gov.
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