Sample Storm Warning
DATELINE - A (tropical storm / hurricane) near (location) may threaten North Carolina (time). Hurricanes are dangerous regardless of their size and can cause devastation through massive flooding and wind damage, even if they do not pass over land. North Carolinians should be prepared in case the storm threatens the coast.
North Carolina residents should listen to the local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials. Now is the time for residents to prepare their homes and gather supplies.
The North Carolina Emergency Management Division urges residents to do the following:
Determine if you are in a storm-surge zone: During a Hurricane Watch, residents living in storm-surge zones may be ordered to evacuate. Evacuation zones will be identified by local emergency managers through the news media. You also should know if your home is located in a flood plain. These areas suffer excessively from heavy rains associated with hurricanes. Since flooding causes most hurricane-related deaths, flood plains are generally among the first areas requiring evacuation. If you do not know the safe escape routes in your area, call the local emergency management office.
Prepare to evacuate if ordered to do so: Residents living in storm-surge zones, and those living in mobile homes that are directly in the storm's path, must plan for their evacuation now. If evacuations are called for, public shelters will be set up for evacuees. However, it might be more comfortable for those who evacuate to stay at a hotel or friend's home that is out of the storm's path. These arrangements must be made now since hotels fill up quickly and out-of-county evacuations take time.
Register for Special Care: Residents needing transportation or medical care during an evacuation should contact their local emergency management office, if they have not already done so. Special needs shelters require advance registration. County Emergency Management officials are listed in your phone book under county government.
Consider the Safety of Pets: Except for service animals, health regulations do not allow pets in public shelters. Residents should plan to board pets with their veterinarian, a kennel, or an identified pet shelter. Residents should attach identification and rabies tags to their pets' collars.
Prepare an Emergency Kit: To prepare for a hurricane or any disaster, it is best to have a three-day emergency kit available, since it may take that long for rescue workers to reach your area. For more information on preparing an emergency kit, click here.
Fuel Cars, Obtain cash, and Secure Important Documents: Residents should fill their cars with gasoline and have enough cash on hand to last a week in case they are ordered to evacuate. During power-outages, gas stations and ATM machines do not work. It is also important to secure original copies of documents in a waterproof container in case of flooding.
Obtain Supplies to protect the home: If residents are ordered to evacuate, there will be little time to protect their homes from the storm. Supplies, such as lumber and shutters, should be purchased now, and window casing pre-drilled. All outdoor objects, including trash cans and patio furniture, should be brought indoors or tied down. Homeowners should clear their property of all debris that could damage buildings in strong winds. Finally, cars should be stored in the garage.
Residents who do not live in designated storm-surge zones should prepare shelter inside their homes: Residents who live well inland of storm surge zones may not have to evacuate. However, the should protect their homes and gather enough supplies to last themselves and their families for three days after the storm makes landfall.
Secure Outdoor Property and Homes: While some areas may not be in the direct path of the storm, property in those areas could sustain major damage due to high winds and heavy rains. It is recommended that all nearby residents protect their homes by boarding the windows and clearing the yard of loose branches and other debris.
Gather Supplies: This may be a final opportunity to gather supplies from local grocery stores. All residents should have an emergency kit with bottled water, precooked nonperishable foods, flash lights, a battery powered radio and paper goods. It is also important to keep ice on hand in case the power fails. Candles are not recommended for safety reasons.