Are you ready for Hurricane Florence?
As we all know by now, Hurricane Florence has proven to be unpredictable and large. With what seems like an ever-changing path, intensity, and rainfall, we all need to be prepared for whatever she brings our way. Whether this is your first hurricane in the Carolina's, or you are a seasoned veteran, it never hurts to make sure your ducks are in a row and you are prepared for the worst! With this particular storm, we are looking at GREAT RISK of flooding inland and flooding/storm surges near the coastal areas. Please be prepared for this important factor!!!
What you need- Losing power is always a big deal because so many of our municipalities run off our power grid. The little things we can sometimes take for granted become a big hurdle in these times. Stock up on batteries, candles, flashlights, first aid supplies, water, and non-perishable foods (for three days), medications, and cash. Have a battery operated radio available and make sure to charge your cell phones ahead of time. Make sure you have all important documentation (birth certificates, social security cards, insurance cards, etc.) photos, in plastic bin/bags either with you if evacuating or move to higher levels of your home. If using generators, make sure they are run away from windows and doors, AND NEVER INSIDE YOUR HOME. Stock enough gas for your generators, as well.
Flooding- PLEASE DO NOT WALK, SWIM OR DRIVE THROUGH FLOOD WATERS! Stay off bridges over fast-moving water. Fast-moving water can wash bridges away without warning. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, then stay inside. If water is rising inside the vehicle, then seek refuge on the roof. If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help. Most deaths from hurricanes come from inland flooding, not high winds. So please be safe and smart about the water!
During the storm- If told to evacuate, do so immediately. We all think we are "good" until we have run out of time to get ourselves to safety, especially to our coastal friends. Do not drive around barricades. If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding. If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water. Listen for current emergency information and instructions. Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows. Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
After the storm- Listen to authorities for information and special instructions. Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock. Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water. Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends. Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.
All of this and more information can be found at Ready.gov
Keep up to date with Hurricane Florence at the National Hurricane Center and NC DPS: Hurricane Florence 2018
Keeping the family occupied- If you are a family with young children or will be hosting other families, aside from making your child feel secure in the knowledge that you are well-prepared, have a kit with some entertainment items and a few "creature comforts" you can use to keep the young ones preoccupied until the weather passes. Stock up on plenty of pens, pencils, paper, crayons, and coloring/activity books. These simple tools can keep your children busy with little interaction on your behalf. However, to keep them interested, we suggest joining in on the activities when possible and help them color and draw. Another great way to keep the art interesting is to give them suggestions on things to draw. Remember to keep it simple and offer plenty of praise. Playing cards
We want you all to be safe and be prepared. We will be ready and willing to help you with any issues should the storm affect your property negatively. This is not new to most people in the Carolina's, but we will weather the storm together and get through these troubled waters.