Now Is the Time for Hurricane Prep

Roughly 28% of all tropical storm deaths are found inland.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — May is here, which means warmer temps, days at the pool, and… time for hurricane prep.

Hurricane season may officially start on June 1st, but that hasn’t stopped Mother Nature from churning out storms early. Seven out of the past eight seasons have produced a named storm, the lone exception being last year.

The Charlotte area may not be first in line for the strongest impacts from landfalling hurricanes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a threat to life and property.

“About 28 percent of all the tropical-system-related deaths come inland. And it’s basically due to flooding. Inland flooding.”

John Wendel with Char-Meck Stormwater Services says flooding is natural, but it’s often exacerbated by human development.

“Every time we build a parking lot, that’s less ground where water can soak into… So, water falls on that parking lot, it goes right into the storm drains and right into the creeks. The more you build up, the more impervious surfaces, and more water goes into the creeks.”

Even if a tropical system is in a weakened state, it still needs to be taken seriously.

“You don’t need a big storm to have problems,” Wendel adds. “You could get a weak tropical storm, but if it’s moving slowly, and it’s producing a lot of rain, that could produce just as much damage as stronger storms, or even a hurricane.”

So, what should you be stocking up on before the storm? Batteries, portable chargers, flashlights and lamps, first aid kits, and physical cash all make the list. But most importantly…

“Number one is non-perishable food,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Clay Chaney says. “You want to have enough water for the worst-case scenario. We typically tell people to have a minimum that will last you about three days.”

And you shouldn’t wait until you’re in the path of a storm to get ready.

“You want to prepare now. Now is the time to take action. You do not want to wait until the hurricane is encroaching the area. It’s best to put these preparedness plans in now,” Chaney tells us. “And just have those emergency contacts and those emergency locations that you can go to in the event that the worst-case scenario does happen in our area.”