Hurricane season is here, and we want to make sure you’re prepared!
Fact: Hurricane season is June 1-November 30, but the peak season is between mid-August and late October.
North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Guide – Click here to download
Basic preparedness tips:
- Know where you’re going. If you have to evacuate, know the correct route to take and know where you can stay.
- Have access to a radio for news and weather updates.
- Have a go-bag containing: flashlights, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of critical information if you need to evacuate.
- If you’re in an area that doesn’t have to evacuate, plan ahead for possible power and water loss. Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need if you are unable to leave your home due to flooding or blocked roads.
- Have a family emergency communication plan
- Find out if your area has text or email alert systems for emergency notifications.
Preparing Your Home:
- Trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
- Secure loose rain gutters and clear any clogged areas to prevent water damage to your property.
- Make sure your roof, windows, and doors – including the garage doors – are secure.
- Purchase a portable generator to use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside at least 20 feat away from windows and doors and protected from moisture. NEVER attempt to power your house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
- Be sure to have a battery operated radio.
The Hurricane is 6 hours from arriving…what should you do?
- If you’re not evacuating, plan to stay at home or wherever your are and let friends and family know your location.
- Close storm shutters and stay away from windows.
- Turn your refrigerator/freezer to the coldest setting and only open when absolutely necessary. If you lose power, your food will last longer.
- Turn on your radio to stay updated on the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Charge your cell phone so you’ll have full battery in case of power loss.
For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here.
For information on how to prepare for power outages, click here.
For more information on flood safety, click here.
Hurricane Preparation During COVID-19
Cumberland County officials issued guidance on how to prepare for severe weather given the current pandemic situation.
Now is the time to answer these three questions: Where will I go? What do I need? Who has reliable information?
Where will I go?
Sheltering and evacuation for this hurricane season will be different than in years past as the pandemic adds additional challenges. During Hurricane Florence, Cumberland County housed more than 500 individuals in the first 48 hours of operating the emergency shelters. More than 1,000 displaced residents would call these shelters home during the peak of the storm.
The capacity and availability of emergency shelters will drastically be reduced to protect against the spread of COVID-19. Staying at an emergency shelter should be your last resort. Plan now to stay with family or friends at a safe place, or at a hotel.
If you go to a shelter, you will be required to wear a face mask or covering at all times to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Be prepared to bring your own bedding if cots are not available.
“In light of the increasingly active tropics, now is the time to make alternate sheltering plans and use public shelters as a last resort. We are focused on citizen safety, not just from the storm but also from a public health standpoint,” Booth said.
What do you need?
Build an emergency supply kit and create a family emergency plan. Your kit should include items that your family may need during and after an emergency. Plan for enough water, food and supplies for three to seven days for each person and pet.
Be sure to include additional supplies to stay healthy during the pandemic: face coverings, hand sanitizer and cleaning products.
Visit readync.org to learn more about creating a family emergency plan and building your emergency supplies kit.
Who has reliable information?
Get information about severe incidents by signing up for our Cumberland Alerts notification system. The Cumberland Alerts system enables us to provide you with critical information related to incidents such as severe weather, evacuations, protective actions, etc. You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. Sign-up now by visiting co.cumberland.nc.us/alerts.
The County will also share important messaging on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account.
Although this hurricane season will have additional challenges combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, planning where you will go, what you need and where to go for information will help protect you and your family.