Hurricane Preparedness Week: Less Than A Month To Go Until The Official Start Of Hurricane Season

Hurricane season runs from June 1st - November 30th

Hurricane Preparedness Week is underway with less than a month to go until the official start of hurricane season.

While hurricane season does not start until June 1st, it is not unusual to have out-of-season storms. In fact, we have now gone 6 consecutive years with a storm forming before June 1st:
2021 – Ana
2020 – Bertha
2020 – Arthur
2019 – Andrea
2018 – Alberto
2017 – Arlene
2016 – Bonnie
2016 – Alex
2015 – Ana

May 1st – Determine Your Risk

Hpw 2022 Determine Risk 1 1

Hurricanes bring many hazards to the United States, and it is not only along the coast. According to NOAA “Approximately 25 percent of U.S. hurricane deaths from 1963-2012 occurred in inland counties, with more than half of tropical hurricane deaths related to freshwater flooding.”

There are five major impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Storm surge, strong winds, tornadoes, inland flooding and rip currents. The coastal areas of the Carolinas could see storm surges, high winds, flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. Central North and South Carolina could see inland freshwater flooding, high winds, and tornadoes. Upstate South Carolina and the mountains could see tornadoes and flash flooding.

It is important to not just pay attention to the category. Remember Hurricane Florence in 2018 was “just” a category 1 when it made landfall along our coast. Florence dumped record rainfall over the Carolinas for two days with some locations seeing 30” of rain. Unfortunately, 51 people died in the Carolinas due to the hurricane with estimated damage of over $16 billion. Pay attention to all impacts and remember, it takes one storm to make it a bad year for you.

May 2nd – Develop An Evacuation Plan/ Know Your Zone / Storm Surge

Hpw 2022 Evacuation Plan

First thing firsts, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone. No one in the WCCB Charlotte viewing area does, but if you have friends or family closer to the coast, they may.

Here is an evacuation zone map for North Carolina:
https://ncem-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/InformationLookup/index.html?appid=15a1176665de472da4f30258ca013f58

Here is an evacuation zone map for South Carolina:
https://www.scemd.org/prepare/know-your-zone/

In order to prepare you’ll want to have a go-bag for supplies, a plan for pets, and know your routes in case you are told to evacuate.

Storm surge is one of the greatest potentials for loss of life-related to hurricanes. Storm surge is water that is pushed ashore. The shape and characteristics of the coastline along with the width and slope of the continental shelf can impact storm surge.

May 3rd – Assemble Disaster Supplies

Hpw 2022 Assemble Supplies

It is recommended that you keep an emergency disaster kit on hand for you and your family. This should be stored in a place that is easily accessible for everyone in the family. This could be used if you need to evacuate your home due to flooding, or wind damage. Or if the power goes out for an extended period of time.

Here’s a list of some you should have in your kit:

  • Water (a gallon a day, per person)
  • Food (at least three days’ worth of non-perishable items)
  • Medications
  • First Aid Kit
  • Can Opener
  • Blankets
  • Extra Cash
  • An Emergency Radio
  • Cards, or Games
  • Small Tool Kit
  • Flash Light
  • Phone Charger & Battery Backup (solar-powered is best)
  • Moist Towelettes
  • A copy of important documents (insurance policies, licenses, phone numbers, etc)

Now is a good time to check your kit if you already have one made. Check batteries, and change out any food that might be expired. You can find a full list of supplies for more on what to keep in your kit here.

And don’t forget about your pets. CMPD Animal Care and Control advise you to keep a go-bag for your pets in case of emergencies. If you need to evacuate to a shelter, some don’t allow pets so make sure you have a list handy of places that can take in your animals.

Have a cage handy and assemble a kit for your pets with these supplies:

  • Food and Water (several days worth in a sealable container)
  • Backup collar, leash, and harness with id
  • Medicine
  • First Aid Kit
  • Comfort Items (familiar toy or blanket)
  • Photo of you and your pet (in case you become separated)
  • Grooming Items
  • Sanitation Items (kitty litter, waste bags)

It’s also a good idea to keep your pet’s vaccine records in the glove compartment of your car so it’s easily accessible for a shelter or in case of an emergency for the vet. Also, make sure your pet is microchipped and you update the chip if you move in case your pet does get separated.

May 4th – Get an Insurance Checkup

Insurance

Remember, standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding! Whether you’re a homeowner or renting, you’ll need a separate policy for flood insurance. Flood insurance does require a 30-day waiting period so do it now before a storm hits.

May 5th – Strengthen Your Home/ Tornadoes
May 6th – Help Your Neighbor/ Rip Currents
May 7th – Complete a Written Plan