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May 5 through May 11 is Hurricane Prepareness Week

As many residents across the state continue recovery efforts from Hurricanes Florence and Matthew, Granville County Emergency Services offers information to help residents better understand their risk during severe weather.

 

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies hurricanes into five categories based on their sustained wind speed at the indicated time. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and property. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous and require preventive measures.

 

It is important that all residents know their hurricane warning terminology, such as the difference between watches and warnings:

 

·       Hurricane Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force;

 

·       Hurricane Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds;

 

·       Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone;

 

·       Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible somewhere within the specified area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

 

Keep in mind that even tropical storm force winds of less than 74 mph are capable of tossing around debris and causing damage. For this reason, residents should seek shelter from the wind in a sturdy building as the hurricane moves inland and before the onset of tropical storm force winds.

 

Steps to take before a storm include an assessment of home landscaping, as well as the threat from falling trees. Homeowners, as well as those who rent property, should trim back any dead limbs as well as large overhanging branches and pick up all loose objects around the house including lawn furniture, grills, and potted plants. Lastly, a plan should be developed regarding where to seek shelter during strong winds. Interior hallways, closets and bathrooms are the safest locations. During a storm, it is strongly recommended to stay away from windows and exterior doors.

 

Homeowners and renters should contact an insurance company or agent to ask for an insurance check-up to make sure there is enough insurance to repair or even replace the home and/or interior property, as well as coverage for cars and/or boats.  Standard homeowners’ insurance, or renters’ insurance, does not typically cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy that is available through an insurance company, agent or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov.   Flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period, so now is the time for the insurance check.

 

Finally, know where your insurance documents and contact information are located, and be sure to take them with you if you have to evacuate.

 

Hurricane season is June 1 through Nov. 30, but most storms hit from mid-August to mid-October. Granville County Emergency Services, in partnership with the N.C. Department of Public Safety, reminds all residents to be storm-ready. Visit https://www.ready.gov for more helpful tips and information.

 

 

 

 

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