Get informed before the storm

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Hurricane season is well underway for a year that many experts say will have more tropical activity than usual. Beaufort County residents are no strangers to named storms — Dennis, Floyd, Irene, Matthew, to name just a few, all paid destructive visits to eastern North Carolina—and most people are prepared when the river starts rising and the wind begins howling.

Hurricane preparedness, however, isn’t only limited to enough supplies to sustain a family for three days. It’s not only about having batteries in flashlights and a potential escape plan in place.

Hurricane preparedness is also about communication. Of course, it’s always good to have a radio tuned in to national broadcasts where information about a particular storm can be found. But what about closer to home? What about having information coming from a trusted source about storm conditions that may personally affect local residents?

Beaufort County is such a source. Through a program called Hyper-Reach, residents get information directly from Beaufort County Emergency Management. Power outages, mandatory evacuations, shelter openings, road closures, curfews and more — all are relayed through the program via a phone call or text.

Some might not automatically get these alerts because many residents have opted to replace home phones, or landlines, with cellphones. Any landline in Beaufort County is already signed up for the program. Cellphones are not. A cellphone user must register his phone on the Hyper-Reach website in order to get those messages from the people whose job it is to ride out the storm monitoring the county’s systems, services, roads and flooding.

So, as that hurricane kit is put together, batteries and candles purchased, food and water for days bought in a hurricane run to the grocery store, add registering the cellphone with Hyper-Reach to the list of things to do.

Stay informed this hurricane season.

Visit to register.