Important Safety Tips For Those Impacted by Hurricane Florence
comments As Hurricane Florence approaches the North Carolina coast, it is important that all Tenth District residents prepare for potential impacts from what is expected to be a devastating storm. In advance of the outer bands of Hurricane Florence reaching our area, below is a compilation of helpful information for people living in the Tenth District. Additionally, Tenth District constituents can reach out to Congressman McHenry’s offices in Washington, Hickory, Gastonia, and Black Mountain for assistance. The contact information for each of those offices can be found here . From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):
As Hurricane Florence approaches the North Carolina coast the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging everyone to prepare for potential impacts from storms. History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. Everyone should prepare for potential power outages, road closures, damage from the storm, flooding, and other hazards. It is crucial that residents and visitors in the areas that will be impacted by these storms listen to local, tribal and state officials. Below are some safety tips for power outages and flooding. Take time to prepare yourselves, your families, and others for this storm and stay tuned for the latest information from your local officials. Residents and visitors should expect that services will be disrupted for an extended period of time . Power Outage Preparation Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity, including personal medical equipment. Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out. Sign up for local alerts and community warning systems, including Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) . Monitor weather reports for the latest on the storm’s forecast. Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home. Only use generators outdoors and away from windows. Check on your neighbors – make sure they are safe and prepared. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last. Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water. Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher. Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.
Flooding Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters . TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN ! Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water. Listen to Emergency Alert System (EAS), NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions. Depending on where you are, and the impact and the warning time of flooding, go to the safe location that you previously identified.
General Preparedness Restock emergency preparedness kits with food and water. Refill gas tanks and stock vehicles with emergency supplies and a change of clothes. Bring patio furniture and garbage cans inside; they could become dangerous in high winds. Get prescription refills if needed. Have cash on hand.
Tips as the Storms Get Closer : Life threatening coastal and inland flooding is possible. Be aware of quickly moving water and flooded roads. Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions. If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades, or through high water. Remember, turn around, don’t drown! Know how you will communicate with family members once the storm passes. You can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, text instead of calling because phone lines are often overloaded.
Learn more about how you can prepare by visiting www.Ready.gov and en Español at www.Listo.gov . Download the FEMA App to locate and get directions to open shelters across the state, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States. Information from the State of North Carolina:
The main website for Florence information is: https://www.ncdps.gov/florence . County emergency management agency contact information can be found here: https://www.ncdps.gov/Emergency-Management/EM-Community/Directories/Counties
Emergency Management is encouraging folks to download the ReadyNC app for additional information: https://readync.org/EN/Index.html Information About Power Outages from Duke Energy: The following tips can help you and your family stay safe if the power goes out: Stay away from power lines that have fallen or are sagging. Consider all lines energized as well as trees, limbs or anything in contact with lines. Create (or update) an emergency supply kit to save valuable time later. The kit should include everything an individual or family would need for at least two weeks, especially medicines and other supplies that might be hard to find after a storm strikes. Maintain a supply of water and non-perishable food. Keep a portable radio or TV, or NOAA weather radio on hand to monitor weather forecasts and important information from state and local officials. Charge cellphones, computers and other electronic devices in advance of the storm to stay connected to important safety and response information. Consider purchasing portable chargers and make sure they are fully charged as well. Maintain a plan to move family members – especially those with special needs – to a safe, alternative location in case an extended power outage occurs or evacuation is required. Pet owners can make arrangements to stay at evacuation shelters that accept pets, friends’ or family members’ homes, or pet-friendly hotels. Review insurance policies, and include extra copies of the policies and other important documents in your emergency supply kit (ideally in a waterproof container). Report all power line hazards using the following phone numbers: Duke Energy Carolinas customers – 800.769.3766 If a power line falls across a car that you’re in, stay in the car. If you MUST get out of the car due to a fire or other immediate life-threatening situation, do your best to jump clear of the car and land on both feet. Be sure that no part of your body is touching the car when your feet touch the ground. Customers should stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials. For a “Hurricane Kit Checklist,” and important safety information visit http://www.ready.gov . In addition, tips on what to do before, during and after a storm can be found at http://www.duke-energy.com/safety-and-preparedness/storm-safety . A checklist serves as a helpful guide, but it’s critical before, during and after a storm to follow the instructions and warnings of emergency management officials in your area. Click here for a video demonstration and to read more about safety around power lines.
Before the storm hits, customers should note how to report power outages. Customers who experience an outage during the storm can report it by: Visiting http://duke-energy.com on a desktop computer or mobile device. Texting OUT to 57801 (standard text and data charges may apply). Calling the automated outage-reporting system at 800-769-3766 for Duke Energy Carolinas customer.
For storm or power restoration updates, follow Duke Energy on Twitter (@DukeEnergy) and Facebook (Duke Energy). In addition, United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free hotline that provides information to individuals seeking community resources like shelter, food and water, recovery support, and other basic needs, before, during and after disasters. The service is available in 180 languages 24/7 by simply dialing 2-1-1 or visiting 211.org (in life threatening situations people should call 9-1-1).