Caldwell County Emergency Management encourages residents to plan now for hurricane season by updating their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November.
“It only takes one tropical storm to cause major damage to your home and your community,” says Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County Emergency Management Coordinator. “Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause severe winds, flooding and property damage here in our county, too. While no part of the state is immune to hurricanes and tropical storms, there are ways to plan ahead.”
The following storms all impacted Caldwell County:
· August 2011 Irene
· August 2008 Tropical Storm Fay
· October 2004 Three Tropical Storms Frances, Ivan & Jeanne.
· September 1989 Hugo
· July 1989 Two Tropical Storms
While the season officially begins in June, traditionally mid-August to mid-October is the most active time for hurricanes in North Carolina. To encourage residents to actively plan in advance, Governor Pat McCrory deemed May 15-21 as North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week.
“It’s important to act now before storms strike,” continues Teague. “Take the time now to discuss your emergency plan and assemble a supply kit, so that you will have peace of mind and be better prepared to survive a storm and recover from it.”
Families, businesses and local communities should not only assemble emergency supply kits, but make and rehearse plans for where to go and what to do if a hurricane/tropical storm threatens the area.
Teague explains: “During those first few days, you may be on your own until responders can reach you or until essential utilities can be restored.”
An emergency supplies kit should contain enough non-perishable food and a gallon of water per person per day to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:
· Copies of insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag
· First-aid kit
· Weather radio and batteries
· Supply of prescription medicines
· Sleeping bag or blankets
· Changes of clothes
· Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
· Cash or checkbook
· Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding, muzzle and vaccination records
· A plan for those under your care who are unable to help themselves
Residents should review and update their homeowners' or renters’ insurance policies to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage, natural disasters and, if necessary, flood insurance.
People should stay informed during a storm by keeping a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. They also need to heed the warnings of state and local officials and evacuate quickly when told to do so.
Residents can evacuate their homes with their small, domestic pets to specially designated pet-friendly shelters. Pet shelters will be equipped with pet crates, but people should bring feeding dishes, food and water, immunization papers and other pet supplies.
Caldwell County is better prepared today than years ago, but it’s not immune to the many ways a storm can impact a community,” said Teague. “Do not presume that a lower category storm will not impact our area. It only takes one storm to cause flooding and storm surge, which are the most dangerous threats from a hurricane or tropical storm.”
More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at www.ReadyNC.org.
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