Raleigh, N.C. —Many years after the destruction caused by infamous North Carolina hurricanes Fran and Floyd, frightening images of their aftermath still resonate in the minds of people across the state. North Carolinians have seen firsthand just how devastating a hurricane can be, and for this reason it is important to be prepared for whatever nature sends our way during the 2007 hurricane season.
North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives offer residents a few tips to prepare for storm season, which officially begins June 1:
- Create an evacuation plan that is unique to your family’s needs. Inform children of the plan, and practice it with them prior to a storm. Be sure to also make arrangements for pets. Most emergency shelters do not accept them.
- Locate the safest routes to local shelters in case of an emergency.
- Develop an emergency supply kit that includes the following items: plenty of water for each member of your family, non-perishable food items to last at least 3-7 days, blankets, flashlights, extra clothes, toiletries, a battery operated NOAA weather radio, fully charged cell phone or traditional phone, copies of important documents in water-tight bags, cash and a first-aid kit.
- Make sure there is a visible list of emergency phone numbers displayed by all telephones. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1. Ask a family member or friend to act as your emergency out-of-state contact.
- Check entry doors to make sure they all have at least three hinges and a deadbolt lock.
- Reduce damage to windows by tightly fastening plywood panels over windows before a storm. Have the plywood panels stored in a place where they are easy to access and stow.
- Find out if your homeowner’s insurance policy includes flood insurance; most do not. If flood damage is not covered by your policy, look into adding flood insurance before storm season, especially if you live in an area highly susceptible to flooding.
- Stay abreast of weather alerts in your area. Watch or listen to your local news stations and follow all weather advisories.
Hurricane preparedness can save lives and money. Educate your family now so that your plan can easily be put into practice when it counts during storm season. For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives Web site at www.ncelectriccooperatives.com. North Carolina’s Touchstone Energy cooperatives serve 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties.