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, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecasts that this season will yield nine to 14 named storms, including four to seven hurricanes of which one to three 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 2009 hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November. 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 www.ncelectriccooperatives.com. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives serve more than 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.