With Category 4 Hurricane Florence moving closer to the coast of North Carolina, thousands are facing mandatory evacuation orders along the coast. Governor Roy Cooper has urged North Carolina residents, businesses and visitors not to delay preparations and to follow these orders. Florence is expected to make impact Wednesday, September 12th and make landfall near Wilmington the following day. The largest threat to our area is heavy rainfall and wind, which can cause severe damage via flooding, landslides, fallen trees, and power outages.
Remember to stay informed on the latest weather updates and emergency alerts. Below are several applications shared via NC 2-1-1 that you’ll want to download to your cell phones in the case that you lose power to your television, computers and landlines.
- ReadyNC App: ReadyNC helps citizens get ready for disasters and stay informed when disasters occur. You will find information about how to make a disaster plan, what should be in your emergency kit, and much more. The website also includes tips for senior citizens, families with special needs, and pet owners. The App is available for iPhone and Android and provides real-time information before, during, and after a disaster.
- Wireless Emergency Alerts: During an emergency, public safety and government officials send messages directly to WEA capable cell phones. You don’t have to download an app or subscribe to a service to get the alerts. You just have to have a WEA capable phone and get service from a participating provider. Most phones made after 2012 are WEA capable. Contact your cell phone provider to find out if they participate in the WEA Alerts program.
- National Hurricane Center: The National Hurricane Center shares updates every six hours. Follow their lead for the latest news and information.
You may need help with food, housing, finances, clean-up and/or home repair, disaster unemployment assistance, and more. There are agencies and programs to help meet different needs. ReadyNC and Ready.Gov can help you find assistance for many needs. If you'd like to speak to a real person and get information on local resources, please dial 2-1-1. Our call specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support you and find resources available to you.
Please read through the tips below from NC 2-1-1 as you're preparing for Hurricane Florence:
- Remember these four steps: Gather. Record. Prepare. Protect.
- Gather important documents, such as insurance policies, birth certificates, deeds, and utility bills, and store them in waterproof containers. Write down any important numbers in case you lose power.
- Record evidence of your home. Take photos of the inside and outside, including walls, floors, close-ups of appliances and other high-end items. Email photos to yourself for backup.
- Prepare your home if you have time. Secure outdoor objects or move them inside, protect windows, and use sandbags in doorways.
- Protect YOURSELF. Keep cash, a photo ID, and any medications with you. Follow evacuation orders -- they are made to keep you safe. If you choose to stay, remember to store enough food, water, and pet supplies with you. Store extra batteries, a battery-operated radio, and gasoline.