Unlike earthquakes which are unpredictable, we can physically see a hurricane coming, though the
path is often very challenging to forecast. Hurricane season for the Atlantic region typically lasts from June
through November. The latest projected path of Hurricane Irene takes it over eastern North Carolina as a major
hurricane this weekend, posing a severe threat to lives and property. If the fast forward motion of the storm
continues, it could spread damage, including that of downed trees, power lines and coastal flooding issues, into
the mid-Atlantic late this weekend and into southern and eastern New England.
Hurricanes are strong storms that cause life and property threatening hazards such as inland
flooding, storm surge, heavy rains, and high winds. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a
Know the Difference
Hurricane Watch—Hurricane conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans,
keep informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued.
Hurricane Warning—Hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm
preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
Before a Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should consider taking the following measures:
Know your risk and what to do
· Contact your local emergency management office to learn about evacuation routes and emergency
· Get additional information from FEMA (www.fema.gov and m.fema.gov for your mobile device), Ready
Campaign (www.ready.gov), Citizen’s Corps (www.citizencorps.gov) the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org), and
NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov).
· Inquire about emergency plans and procedures at your child’s school and at your workplace.
· Make a family disaster plan that includes out-of-town contacts and locations to reunite if you
become separated. Be sure everyone knows home, work and cell numbers, and how to call 911.
· Assemble a disaster supplies kit with food, water, medical supplies, battery-powered radio and
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, batteries, flashlights, and other items that will allow you to get by for 3 days
after a hurricane hits.
· Gather important documents such as birth and marriage certificates, social security cards,
passports, wills, deeds, and financial and insurance records. Store them in a fire and flood safe location or safe
· Don’t forget to plan how you will evacuate your pet(s).
Prepare your home
· Make plans to secure your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for
windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape
does not prevent windows from breaking.
· Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will
reduce roof damage.
· Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed.
· Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
· Determine how and where to secure your boat.
As the storm approaches
· Have a tank full of gas in your vehicle, a supply of cash, and your disaster supplies kit ready
· Make sure every family member carries or wears identification.