Hurricane PreparationFollow our tips to prepare your family for an impending storm in your area.
Preparing for a Hurricane
North Carolina has had more than its share of natural disasters and storms, including hurricanes, over the past few years. The best way to survive and endure a hurricane is to prepare for it before hand.
Your North Carolina Touchstone Energy cooperative offers the following tips to help you prepare your family for a hurricane:
- Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.
- Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be in your home but within your community.
- Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
- Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
- Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
- Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones, and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
- Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
- Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a disaster supply kit.
- Monitor the radio and make sure you have plenty of batteries in case the power goes out. Replace its battery every six months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
- Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.
Disaster Preparation Resources
The below information is provided by the National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Weather Service.
When a Hurricane Watch is Issued
As with any storm, it’s a good idea to be prepared for potential outages.
Extensive hurricane information is available, while basic information follows for preparing for a hurricane. Store your outage preparedness kit in a designated place so it is easy to find should the need arise. Some things to do or include:
- Store canned or package foods, powdered milk and beverages, dry cereal, canned tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, etc. (at least a three-day non-perishable food supply)
- Water (for drinking purposes, one gallon per person per day; fill bathtub and other containers)
- A first aid kit
- Water purification tablets (these can be purchased at your local pharmacy)
- Bleach (without lemon or any other additives)
- Refill prescription medicine and/or medical supplies
- Candles, matches, and lantern
- Fuel (be sure to fill up your car’s gas tank when storm warnings are set)
- Fire extinguisher
- A battery-operated radio
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A can opener (non-electric)
- Disposable plates and eating utensils
- Emergency cooking facilities
- Baby food, diapers, and formula
- A portable cooler
- Extra blankets or sleeping bags
What is a Hurricane Watch?
Hurricane conditions are possible in a specified area, usually within 36 hours.
When Hurricane Warning is Issued
- If you live in a mobile home, check tie downs and leave immediately for a safer place.
- Prepare for high winds by bracing down garage doors, lowering antennas, and anchoring or bringing in outdoor objects.
- Store important documents in waterproof containers and store in highest possible spot. If you evacuate be sure to take them with you.
- If you own a boat, secure or move to a safe location.
- As the storm intensifies, stay away from doors and windows. Go to an interior room, like a closet or bathroom.
- Don’t go out in the brief calm, during the passage of the eye of the storm. The lull sometimes ends suddenly as winds return from the opposite direction.
What is a Hurricane Warning?
Hurricane conditions are expected in a specified area, usually within 24 hours.
Don’t forget to have a plan for your pets too!
If considering moving to a shelter, make arrangements for all pets. Pets are not allowed in shelters. Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis. Call ahead and determine availability.
- Make sure your pets are current on their vaccinations. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.
- Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.
- Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal. Carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
Safety During the Storm
North Carolina has had more than its share of hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years. These natural phenomena can cause prolonged power outages.
Here are some tips that can help you during a storm.
- During the storm, get inside a building.
- Stay away from windows. Flying debris can cause injury.
- Don’t use the phone or run water during lightning storms.
- Don’t stand in water or take a bath or shower. Currents from lightning can enter through plumbing and phone lines.
- Don’t leave candles unattended and keep them away from furniture, draperies and other flammable materials.
Listen to local radio stations for news about outages.
Your electric cooperative makes a special effort to report the latest outage news to local radio stations and other media outlets.
Power Saving & Restoration Tips
- Turn off your heating and air conditioning systems.
- Unplug sensitive electronic appliances such as TVs, VCRs, microwave ovens and computers. This will protect your appliances against power fluctuations that can occur when power is restored.
- Be sure to wait five to 10 minutes before turning on appliances and heating systems after power is restored.
- Be sure to turn off your electric range during a power outage. This may prevent possible damage if you’re away when the power is restored.
After the Storm
Catastrophes like hurricanes and floods may cause extended outages.
You can rest assured that Four County Electric personnel work as quickly as possible to restore your electrical service.
- If you are evacuated, delay return until authorities say it is safe to return.
- Watch out for loose, dangling or downed power lines. Stay away and report them immediately to your power company.
- Be aware of snakes, poisonous insects, and other animals that my be a hazard.
- Check food. Food may spoil if refrigerator power is off more than a few hours. Freezers will keep food several days if doors are not opened after power failure, but do not refreeze food once it thaws.
- Stay home if possible. Roads may be blocked or flooded, down power lines and trees may also be blocking roads.
- Call 911 only during emergencies.