Sunday, July 21, 2024

Hurricane Dorian tracking toward Carolinas; here are some precautionary tips [Free read]

It's still too early to tell where the storm will make landfall but new models are showing the storm eventually impacting the Cape Fear Region. While these are only predictions, preparing for the potential impact is important.

Hurricane Dorian is still several days from making landfall in the U.S., but models do show it impacting the Cape Fear Region (Port City Daily/NOAA)
Hurricane Dorian is still several days from making landfall in the U.S., but models do show it impacting the Cape Fear Region. (Port City Daily/NOAA)

SOUTHEAST N.C. — Hurricane Dorian is making its way across the Atlantic and although early forecasts showed the storm making landfall somewhere along Florida’s coast, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is now showing the storm tracking further north.

It is still too early to say where the storm will make landfall but the NHC does have Wilmington and the Cape Fear Region now within the storm’s ‘track forecast cone,’ the NHC’s prediction model.

“The cone represents the probable track of the center of a tropical cyclone, and is formed by enclosing the area swept out by a set of circles (not shown) along the forecast track (at 12, 24, 36 hours, etc). The size of each circle is set so that two-thirds of historical official forecast errors over a 5-year sample fall within the circle. The circle radii defining the cones in 2019 for the Atlantic, Eastern North Pacific, and Central North Pacific basins are given in the table below,” according to the NHC.

Dorian is currently a category 4 storm with windspeeds near 140-miles-per-hour.

Storm-force winds can be expected early Wednesday (Port City Daily/NOAA)
Storm-force winds can be expected early Wednesday (Port City Daily/NOAA)

If the storm stays on its current path as predicted, the Cape Fear Region can expect to see tropical-storm-force winds most reasonably on Wednesday morning.

On Friday, Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, according to WECT.

Prepare now

Preparing for a hurricane is important regardless if Dorian impacts the Cape Fear Region. Here are some tips to help you prepare in case of an emergency situation.

Documents your belongings for insurance

FEMA recommends homeowners and renters alike document and photograph their property in case insurance claims are necessary. This is not something you want to be doing during an emergency.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Basic items like toilet paper, first-aid kits, non-perishable food, and bottled water can be assembled any time, no need to wait for a storm to hit. Read more about what the Department of Homeland Security’s considers key items go put in a “disaster supply kit’ here.

Assemble important documents

Now is a good time to collect and make copies of crucial documents: marriage licenses, social security cards, titles, deeds, wills, etc. Make sure documents are stored in water-proof containers.

Take out cash

In the event of power outages or loss of telecommunication systems, credit and debit cards won’t work and ATMs may be out. Having enough cash on hand for fueling up your car or a night in a hotel could make a big difference.

Make a plan

When a storm hits, communication can get difficult in a hurry. Make a plan with friends and family in case you get separated or can’t get in touch; plan a place and time to meet. Get more tips for making a plan at

Register for Code Red

Code Red allows county-based emergency services to contact you by text-message and email. Registration only takes a few minutes, but it’s not the kind of thing you want to be doing in an emergency — and it Code Red provides useful information leading up to a major storm.

In addition to emergency weather information, Code Red can also provide local health alerts (such as mosquito spraying and water boil advisories) and community updates (like missing persons alerts).

You can register for the Code Red in your county here:

Special Needs registration

These are county databases of residents who cannot easily leave their homes, such as those reliant on oxygen or life-support systems and those with physical disabilities that would make evacuation difficult or impossible on their own. The information is kept confidential by emergency management agencies and is only used to direct first-responders to those in need during extreme weather or other emergency situations.

Some counties have online registration, whereas in New Hanover registration is by mail. But it’s always worth registering ahead of time to make sure emergency response teams can get help to you or your loved ones in time. At present, Pender County does not have a registry, but anyone with mobility concerns can contact Special Needs Coordinator Shirley Steele at 910-259-1207.


There are some easy preparations you can do now to make sheltering or evacuation with your pet easier.

  • Make sure you have up to date medical information for your pet(s).
  • Make sure rabies and identification tags are up to date with contact info and an address.
  • Have a current photo of your pet(s).
  • If you think evacuation might be necessary, call ahead (or search online) for pet-friendly hotels. Many travel and lodging sites now allow users to search for this option.
  • Know which county shelters are pet-friendly. Most county shelters accept only cats and dogs, not exotic animals. This information will sometimes change, so it’s worth checking ahead and again before evacuating or seeking shelter.

Port City Daily will continue to monitor Dorian and bring you updates as they are provided and as the storm moves forward.

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