Hurricane Season Is Here – Prepare Now

Posted On June 1, 2024— Written By NC State Extension
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Hurricane Season Ahead Sign

Image Licensed from Adobe Stock

Hurricane season starts today. The 2024 hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30, is predicted to be particularly active. Meteorologists and tropical researchers warn of an above-average number of storms, urging people to prepare early and thoroughly.

Understanding the Threat

North Carolina, with its extensive coastline and history of devastating hurricanes, is no stranger to the perils of these powerful storms. From Hurricane Florence in 2018, which brought catastrophic flooding, to the more recent impacts of Hurricane Isaias in 2020, the state’s vulnerability is evident. This year, the forecast suggests an increased likelihood of hurricanes making landfall, making preparedness not just advisable but essential.

The Importance of Early Preparation

Being prepared can significantly mitigate the impact of a hurricane. Early preparation allows residents to address potential risks and ensure safety measures are in place before a storm threatens. Here are some crucial steps to take:

  • Create an Emergency Plan: Develop a family emergency plan that includes evacuation routes, meeting points, and communication methods. Ensure all family members understand the plan and practice it regularly.
  • Build an Disaster Kit: Assemble a kit with essential supplies, such as non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and important documents. Include enough supplies to last at least three days.
  • Prepare Your Family for the Possibility of a Hurricane: Don’t be reluctant to talk with your family about the possibility of a hurricane, fire, tornado, or flood. Thought and action before the disaster hits usually helps family members react wisely. Families that work together to prepare for the problem will cope better than those who do not take precautions.
  • Correct Potential Home Hazards: Inspect your home for vulnerabilities. Install storm shutters, reinforce doors and windows, and secure loose outdoor items. Conduct a thorough inspection of your home promptly, identifying and rectifying any potential hazards.
  • Protect Valuable Records: Protecting family papers is an important part of preparing you for dealing with natural disasters. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it covers hurricane damage. Consider purchasing flood insurance, as standard policies typically do not cover flood damage.
  • Plan for Pets: Include your pets in your emergency plan. Ensure they have proper identification, and prepare a pet emergency kit with food, water, and other necessities.
  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of weather updates and alerts from reliable sources such as the National Hurricane Center and local media outlets. Sign up for National Weather Service or local media emergency alerts to receive timely information.

With an active hurricane season predicted, North Carolinians must prepare now. Early and thorough preparation can make a significant difference in protecting lives and property. By taking proactive steps and staying informed, residents can face the upcoming hurricane season with greater confidence and resilience.