Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Governor Roy Cooper has declared May 9-15 as Hurricane Preparedness Week, joining the national effort to make people more aware of the dangers of hurricanes and encouraging all North Carolinians to prepare for tropical weather. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
“All North Carolinians should take this time to prepare for the possible impacts of a hurricane or other severe weather by updating their family emergency plans and supply kits,” Governor Cooper said. “Having a plan and supplies will help you to survive through a hurricane and to recover faster should one adversely affect your home.”
Severe tropical weather is common in North Carolina. The state is currently recovering from the devastating effects of multiple large storms including Hurricane Isaias and the remnants of Hurricane Eta in 2020; Hurricane Dorian in 2019; Hurricane Florence as well as Tropical Storms Michael and Alberto in 2018; and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.
“There are things everyone can do to prepare for severe weather long before it hits, such as having flood insurance and knowing if you live in a coastal evacuation zone,” said Mike Sprayberry, Executive Director of NC Emergency Management and the NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency.
Twenty North Carolina coastal counties have established pre-determined evacuation zones, based on the threats of storm surge and river flooding. Residents can find out if they live in one of these zones by visiting KnowYourZone.nc.gov. Residents should learn their zone and watch or listen for it if evacuations are ordered before or after a storm.
“I also encourage everyone to lookout for one another, especially for those who may be more vulnerable such as the elderly,” said Sprayberry. “It is easier get through a disaster by helping your friends and neighbors and working together.”
By practicing an emergency plan periodically, everyone will be comfortable with his or her role in the plan. The plan should also include details on a meeting place and family phone numbers. Be sure to write down your plan and gather important documents, such as copy of driver’s license, insurance policies, medical records, and prescriptions, and put them somewhere you can quickly access in case of emergency.
Make sure to review and update homeowners or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they are current and include adequate coverage for your current situation.
Having an emergency kit allows people to survive independently if no other resources are available. 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 on the local media stations 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.
More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness is online at ReadyNC.org. Read the Governor’s proclamation here.