Irma Still Packs a Punch

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

Hurricane Irma will spare North Carolina from a direct hit, but the storm’s impacts will still be felt all across the state. Strong winds and heavy rain may occur across much of North Carolina. Be prepared for flash flooding and power outages as the storm passes by.

When Flooded Turn Around Don't DrownBe aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move. If you are advised to evacuate ahead of a flood, do so immediately. You may not have much time and you need to act quickly to save your life. Get out of areas that are subject to flooding and move to a safe area before access is cut off. Low spots such as streams, dips, canyons, and washes are not the places you want to be during flash flooding.

Remember never to drive through flood waters. You cannot see what is or is not under the water. The roadway that used to be there may be gone. It only takes a few inches of water to float a vehicle. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Play it safe. Turn around, don’t drown.

Power pole with tree limbsBe ready for power outages. Make sure batteries and cell phones are fully charged at all times. If you rely on powered medical devices, make sure that you have a backup plan in case you lose power. If you have a generator, only use it away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.

Food safety is a big issue during and after a power outage. See the following factsheets for information about how to be safe with food without power.

Extension Factsheet attach_file

Meal Preparation and Food Safety After a Power Failure

After a power failure, you might not have heat, refrigeration, or water. This publication explains how to safely prepare food when you have no power.

Extension Factsheet attach_file

When the Power Is Out - When to Save Refrigerated Food and When to Throw It Out

This factsheet offers information on which refrigerated foods to discard when the power is out for an extended period.

Extension Factsheet attach_file

When the Power Is Out - When to Refreeze Frozen Food and When to Throw It Out

This factsheet offers information on which frozen foods can be safely refrozen after an extended power outage.

Stay tuned to local media or online sources for weather updates and listen for information from local authorities on evacuations, local hazards and other important news.