Storm Preparedness

Winter Emergency Storm Tips

Safety Kit

Prepare a safety kit before a storm hits to help your family if an emergency should occur. Include the following items:

  • Flashlights or battery powered lanterns
  • Medicine, first aid supplies and baby items
  • An emergency water supply in case power to your electric water pump is interrupted
  • Bottled drinking water, non-perishable food items, batteries and firewood
  • An emergency heating source

Tips on how to prepare for:

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • If your power is out following a storm and you must cook food with Sterno or charcoal, remember to do so outside in a well-ventilated area
  • Cooking indoors with Sterno or charcoal will produce deadly carbon-monoxide fumes

Hurricane Preparation

Disaster Planning
  • 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
When a Hurricane Watch is Issued
  • A hurricane watch is when hurricane conditions are possible in a specified area, usually within 36 hours
  • 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
  • Toiletries
  • 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


About Flooding
  • When it comes to hurricanes, wind speed is not the whole story. Hurricanes produce storm surge, tornadoes, and often the most deadly threat of all – flooding
  • Over the past 30 years, flooding has been responsible for the most deaths from hurricanes

Wind Isn't Everything

Flooding is not directly related to wind strength of hurricanes:

  • Some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from weaker storms that move slowly or stall
  • Flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from the coast as intense rain falls from huge tropical air masses
  • 63% of the flooding deaths resulting from hurricanes over the past 30 years have occurred in inland counties

The Dangers of Flooding

  • Since 1970, freshwater floods have accounted for 59% of the deaths resulting from tropical storms and hurricanes
  • Sadly, that number rises to 78% among children
  • At least 23% of U.S. tropical cyclone deaths occur to people who drown in, or attempt to abandon, their cars
  • In 1999, Hurricane Floyd brought intense rains and record flooding to eastern United States and North Carolina
  • Of the 56 people who perished in that hurricane, 50 drowned in inland flooding, 35 in North Carolina

“In the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States.”

–Ed Rappaport, National Hurricane Center
Flooding Safety Actions

The following information is provided by the National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Weather Service:

  • Determine the elevation of your property
  • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water
  • Keep materials on hand like sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, plastic garbage bags, lumber, shovels, work boots and gloves
    • Call your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home
  • Stay away from downed power lines
  • Be aware of streams, drainage channels and areas known to flood, so you or your evacuation routes are not cut off
  • Restrict children from playing flooded areas
  • Test drinking water for potability; wells should be pumped out and the water tested before drinking
  • Do not use fresh food that has come in contact with floodwaters
    • Wash canned goods that come in contact with floodwaters with soap and hot water
  • Do not cross flowing water
    • As little as 6 inches of water may causes you to lose control of your vehicle
  • Have flood insurance
    • Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance
    • Do not make assumptions – Check your policy