Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 3 through May 9, and Granville County Emergency Services encourages all residents to prepare now by updating emergency plans and supply kits.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, but most storms strike from mid-August to mid-October. Take this time to review and practice emergency plans and update emergency supply kits with non-perishable food and water to last each person in your family a minimum of one week, as electricity and water could be out for at least that long. Kits should also include a first-aid kit; weather radio and batteries; prescription medicines; sleeping bag or blankets; a change of clothes; hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant; cash; a battery-powered radio; flashlights; a crank or solar-powered USB charger; and pet supplies, including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records. Before the storm, be sure to fill up your car with gas, or ensure that a gas can is full and available.
Have a plan of where to seek shelter in your home if high wind threatens you. Talk with your family and let everyone know where your predetermined safe room is in your home. Interior hallways, closets and bathrooms are the safest locations. Always stay away from windows and exterior doors.
If you are in a home that would be unsafe during a hurricane, determine where you would go and how you would get there if ordered to evacuate. Make sure to practice your plan so that family members and loved ones know what to do. You should also talk to neighbors about their plans, especially those who may need assistance, such as senior citizens.
While storm surge does not affect Granville County, many of our residents vacation at beaches that may be impacted, and should be aware of the dangers. Storm surge is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm, and is one of the greatest potentials for loss of life related to a hurricane. This rise in water level can cause severe flooding in low-lying areas, especially if the storm coincides with normal high tide. Although Granville County is not in a storm surge evacuation zone, it is a good idea to identify family or friends who do, and to offer to be their evacuation destination.
Make sure to review and update homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage, natural disasters and flood insurance. It is also a good idea to assess your home’s landscaping and the threat from falling trees. Before a storm threatens, trim back any dead limbs, as well as large overhanging branches. Pick up all loose objects around the house including lawn furniture, grills, and potted plants.
Stay informed when severe weather strikes by tuning in to local news, listening to a NOAA Weather Radio, or checking NWS Raleigh website www.weather.gov/rah. More information on severe weather and hurricane preparedness can be found at www.ReadyNC.org.