N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory has declared May 24-30 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina, and is urging residents to update their emergency plans and supply kits.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, which oversees the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, is expected to release its predictions for the 2015 hurricane season on May 27.
But, whatever is predicted, Steve Pfaff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, warns that the number of storms is in no away indicative of the strength or impacts of potential storms.
“We want everyone to prepare like it’s going to be the worst season we’ve had,” Pfaff said. “All it takes is that one storm.”
Tropical Storm Ana formed and made her way through southeastern North Carolina in early May, ahead of the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.
“It’s never too early to prepare for hurricanes and severe storms,” McCrory said.
McCrory said Ana and last year’s Hurricane Arthur serve as timely reminders that it is important to prepare early.
He urged families to discuss their emergency plans and assemble or update their supply kits. These simple steps can help you recover much quicker after a storm, he said.
Emergency kits should contain enough non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days.
Other essential items include:
- Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
- First-aid kit
- Weather radio and batteries
- Supply of prescription medicines
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Changes of clothes
- Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
- Cash or checkbook
- Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
- Residents are also encouraged to review and update their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies now to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage, natural disasters and, if necessary, flood insurance.
People should stay informed during a storm by keeping a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. They also need to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.
Residents can evacuate their homes with their small, domestic pets to specially designated pet-friendly shelters. Pet shelters will be equipped with pet crates, but people should bring feeding dishes, food and water, immunization papers and other pet supplies.
More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at www.ReadyNC.org.