Spotlight

Co-op Members Urged to Prepare for Hurricane Season & Take Extra Precautions Due to COVID-19

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed May 3-9 Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina, and residents are reminded that now is the time to prepare for the 2020 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.

“North Carolina knows all too well the damage and disruption that hurricanes can bring, but being prepared can help people fare better and recover quicker,” said Gov. Cooper. “Especially with COVID-19 affecting everyone’s daily lives, now is the time to make sure you and your family are ready this hurricane season.”

Families are urged to use this week to discuss their emergency plans, update their emergency supplies, and review their homeowners and renter’s insurance policies. This year, it’s also important to consider how the COVID-19 virus might alter typical preparedness for hurricane season. Staying at a hotel or with friends or family who live farther inland are better options than relying on a large emergency shelter. If you do evacuate, be sure to check in with family members, or an emergency contact, to let them know where you are.

The most dangerous threats from hurricanes and tropical storms are flooding and storm surge, and having flood insurance is one of the best ways to prepare for flooding. During this hurricane season, North Carolina is also introducing Know Your Zone, a tiered evacuation system that highlights areas most vulnerable to storm surge. If it becomes necessary, local officials will order evacuations using predetermined zones created by coastal counties. The Know Your Zone lookup tool is a new color-coded interactive map you can use to determine your evacuation zone based on street address.

Residents are also urged to assemble an emergency kit to prepare for potential hurricanes and storms. Given the current threat from COVID-19, make sure your kit includes additional supplies that will help you and your family stay safe.

Essential items include:

  • Food/water for every member of your family for several days
  • Copies of insurance cards/papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
  • 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
  • Cash
  • Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Face masks

During storms, stay tuned to a trusted local news source and keep a battery-powered radio nearby for weather and evacuation information. Also make sure to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.

Co-op members are encouraged to connect with their local electric cooperative on social media or online to stay informed about outages and other storm information and keep their co-op’s outage reporting number handy. Real-time outage numbers for electric cooperatives statewide are available 24/7 on our Outage Map.

More information on hurricanes and emergency preparedness can be found in the Outages and Safety section of our website or at ReadyNC.org.

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