Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are urging residents across the state to have a dependable plan in place in preparation for this year’s hurricane season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasts that this season will yield considerable activity and 12 to 16 named storms, including six to nine hurricanes and two to five 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 2008 hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives would like to offer the following important tips to help you prepare:
- Develop an evacuation route plan in advance. The plan should identify the safest routes and closest shelters.
- Be sure to remember your pets when planning for possible evacuation. Not all emergency shelters allow pets. Contact your local humane society to learn the animal shelters that 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 hurricane emergency. For more information about storm preparedness, visit www.ncelectriccooperatives.com. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve over 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.