North Carolina’s geographic location along the Atlantic coast makes us susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30, and our state may also experience other forms of severe weather, including thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding, throughout the year. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe before, during and after hurricanes and other storms.
Before a Storm:
- Outline a communications and evacuation plan for your family before a hurricane or storm warning is issued to minimize confusion and fear. If you have pets or any livestock, include them in your plan.
- Create an emergency kit that includes 72 hours’ worth of food, water, medication and any other supplies you may need.
- Charge your cell phone so it can still be used if the power goes out.
- Bring all lawn furniture, decorations, toys and garbage cans in from outside. Tie down items that can’t be brought in like boats and trailers.
- Fuel up your car. A loss of electricity could put gas stations out of commission until power is restored.
- Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. Plywood can be used to board up windows and doors if your house doesn’t have hurricane shutters.
- Secure your home and evacuate immediately if you live in a mobile home or flood zone.
During a Storm:
- Stay indoors and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
- If flooding is imminent, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio or TV for information about the storm and evacuation procedures.
- Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
- Do not go outside until officials have issued an all clear, even if the winds have subsided. You may be in the eye of the hurricane and about to face another round of high winds and heavy rain.
After a Storm:
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and flooding even after the hurricane or storm has passed.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them immediately to your local co-op.
- If power was out for an extended period of time, throw out any food that may have spoiled in the refrigerator.
- Take pictures of any damage that has occurred to your home for insurance purposes.
- If running a generator, place it in a dry, well-ventilated area away from air intakes into the home. The generator should be properly grounded and connected to appliances with proper power cords.
- Report power outages to your local electric cooperative.