North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Encourage Residents to Preapare for 2010 Hurricane Season

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s electric cooperatives urge residents across the state to have a dependable plan in place in preparation for this year’s hurricane season.

Although no forecast is certain, early reports indicate that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season could be a very active one, with as many as 16-18 storms. There’s always a chance that some of these storms could become major hurricanes. A major hurricane, either a category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, can produce winds up to 156 mph. The Saffir-Simpson scale is the classification system that separates hurricanes into five categories based on wind, barometric pressure and storm surge.

The 2010 hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends on Nov. 20. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives encourage residents to:

  • Develop an evacuation route plan in advance. The plan should identify the safest routes and closest shelters.
  • Remember your pets when planning for possible evacuation. Not all emergency shelters allow pets. Contact your local humane society to learn which animal shelters accept pets during disasters.
  • Create a family disaster supply kit and be sure to include the following: a battery operated radio, flashlights, a first aid kit, non-perishable food items, a three-day water supply, a non-electric can opener, medicines, cash and credit cards.
  • Teach children to call 911, the police or fire department in case of an emergency. Communicate with family members to be sure they know how to respond in a storm situation.
  • Know the proper way to protect your home during a storm. Measure plywood panels to use when boarding your home’s windows before the storm hits.

A reliable plan is your best defense against a major storm this season. Communicate the plan to everyone in your family and be sure to tune in to your local radio news station during a storm emergency. For more information about storm preparedness, visit  North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.