North Carolina’s summer season brings people from all over flocking to the beautiful beaches up and down the coast — from the Outer Banks to the Inner Banks. Vacationers love these beautiful beaches and fantastic fishing… except when a hurricane is charging towards the coast. But from the first of June to the end of November, North Carolina has to be on guard — watching out for these monster storms that, in the past, have ravaged their coastal cities and reached into the state as far as Charlotte.
Hurricane preparedness and safety
No matter where you are, the most important thing you can do-the only thing you can do, is prepare and be ready to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe. If you are in an area that is in direct danger and local officials tell you to evacuate, DO IT. Don’t wait — just pack up and leave.
Remember: Your home can be replaced, but you and your family are irreplaceable. Know your evacuation routes and where the shelters are. If you plan to ride out the storm for whatever reason, make sure you have all the supplies that you may need to make it through, even if you’re stuck for days.
- Water: Both water bottles, and fill the bathtub (or other large containers) in case tap water is not available
- Food to last for at least a week: Non-perishables (canned and packaged are best)
- Hand-operated can opener
- Paper plates, cups, utensils
- Outdoor cooking grill, along with any necessary gas and/or charcoal
- Blankets and pillows
- Clothes that are suited to the weather — rain gear, layered clothing, etc.
- First aid kit
- All needed medications
- Flashlights and batteries
- Candles and lighters/matches
- Toys and books to keep children focused on something other than fear
- Food for your pets and other pet care supplies
- Important/irreplaceable documents: Birth certificates, social security cards, etc.
In the event that you are threatened by a hurricane, also make sure you have cash on hand. If power is lost and all your money is in the bank, then you will have no means to purchase things. In addition, be sure to gas up your car for emergency purposes. And, if you expect that you may lose power, make sure to charge have your cell phones and laptops completely charged for use after the power goes out.
Some of the things listed above can mean the difference between life and death — which others only mean comfort versus discomfort. When a hurricane makes a threat, take it seriously. If you are prepared and you don’t get hit you have lost nothing… but if you are not prepared and it does hit, you risk losing everything.
For more detailed information on hurricane preparedness, including tips on developing a family plan, ways to secure your home, and how to ensure the safety of your pets, check out the NOAA’s hurricane preparedness site.