NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – May 1-7 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week and with the start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season less than a month away, it is important to be prepared for the impacts of potential storms on Coastal North Carolina.
To help, New Hanover County Emergency Management is continuing its ReadyNHC outreach by offering a Lunch & Learn session on Wednesday, May 11 that will cover hurricane and tropical weather preparedness. Attendees can take part in this event virtually. To sign up, follow this link.
“New Hanover County is a beautiful coastal community but living by the ocean comes with the risk of storms off the Atlantic and Gulf Coast that bring heavy rain, wind and flooding to our area,” said Emergency Management Director Steven Still. “It’s important to have a plan for what you and your family will do prior to a storm so that you can be in a safe place when it arrives, have an emergency kit ready and stocked to ensure you have the food and supplies you may need during and after a storm, and have a way to stay informed with critical weather and life safety information.”
According to statistics from the North Carolina State Climate Office, 84 storms have made direct landfall on the North Carolina coast since 1851, with another 303 storms making landfall elsewhere but still impacting the state. That averages out to 2.26 tropical storms affecting the Tarheel State each year.
Having a plan before, during and after the storm is crucial to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, while working to minimize potential damage to your home and property.
Some of the suggested tips from Emergency Management include:
- If possible, relocate inland. While local storm shelters could open depending on the severity of the storm, these facilities should be considered as a last resort and residents should have plans in place to shelter inland with friends or family.
- Visit the state’s Know Your Zone webpage to view your risk for storm surge flooding from hurricanes. Storm damage and flooding are generally more severe near the coast, so evacuating to the interior of the state is a good practice to be out of harms way.
- Have 72 hours’ worth of resources like food, water, prescriptions, toiletries, pet supplies, clothing and other necessities on-hand to use after the storm arrives. There is a strong likelihood that power will be lost and roadways could be undrivable, so having nonperishable items are key.
- Start preparing your home now, by trimming trees or having dead or leaning trees removed; and have plans to easily secure your home leading up to a storm, especially windows and doors, as wind and flying debris can cause damage.
- Visit ReadyNHC.com to learn about local hazards that could impact our area, register for emergency alerts, sign up for New Hanover County emergency news updates and subscribe to National Weather Service updates so you can remain informed. During an emergency, stay tuned to local media and New Hanover County on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor for continuous updates.
“Please remember that every storm is different. A Category 1 hurricane can be just as severe as a Category 5, just in different ways. And while a similar size storm might have done little damage a few years ago, that might not be the case this time,” Still said. “No matter what, it’s important to be prepared and have a plan to ensure you and your family are safe. And if you have medical, access, or functional needs that would place you at higher risk during an emergency event, we encourage you to sign up for the county’s Special Needs Registry so we can make sure you have a plan in place ahead of an emergency.”
Residents who live independently and are on oxygen, have a physical disability that would make it difficult to evacuate, or have other medical needs are strongly encouraged to sign up for the Special Needs Registry. Learn more about this resource and how to enroll here.
For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season or to keep up with the latest information from New Hanover County Emergency Management, visit ReadyNHC.com.