March 4 to 10 marks N.C. Severe Weather Preparedness Week
Published 7:29 pm Monday, March 5, 2018
Dark clouds gather and the barometer falls. A sudden temperature drop marks a telltale sign that something is brewing in the atmosphere. Within a matter of minutes, a sunny day can turn to a squall on the Pamlico.
With preparedness in mind, Beaufort County Emergency Management is encouraging the public to be prepared for severe weather before it strikes this spring. March 4 through 10 marks North Carolina Severe Weather Preparedness week.
With sudden, violent storms and tornados becoming more prevalent during the spring months, now is the time to make sure your household is ready.
Speaking to Chris Newkirk, who serves as Chief of Operations with Beaufort County emergency services, there are a number of steps one can take to be prepared in the eventuality that severe weather strikes.
HAVE A PLAN
Work with your family to develop a plan of action for severe weather. Know where to meet up, who to contact, where to find shelter and what to do with pets. Be sure to have a plan to care for older adults or those with functional needs in the home.
PREPARE A KIT
The North Carolina Department of emergency management recommends preparing a kit containing the following items:
- Water — 1 gallon per person per day for 3 to 7 days
- Food — non-perishable food supply for 3 to 7 days
- Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- First aid kit & first aid book
- Flashlight & extra batteries
- Important medicines
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toiletries – toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
- Extra house and car keys
- Important documents – insurance policies, identification, bank account records
- Fire extinguisher – ABC-type
- Cash and change
- Books, games or cards
Specific information and supply lists for senior citizens, infants and pets can be found at www.readync.org.
REVIEW YOUR POLICY
Newkirk says that homeowners may often forget to review the particulars of their insurance policy until it comes time to file a claim, which is oftentimes too late. This time of year is a good time to go over your insurance policies and make sure that you have the coverage that you and your family need.
SIGN UP FOR HYPER-REACH
A powerful resource for the citizens of Beaufort County, the Hyper-Reach communication system allows Emergency Management personnel to communicate directly on a large scale with area residents. Subscribers can choose to receive alerts via text message, phone call or email. The system also includes TDD/TTY options for the hearing impaired.
From a countywide alert to notifications specific to a street address, this tool can help residents informed about current conditions, local shelter openings and evacuations. To sign up, click to co.beaufort.nc.us, and click the Hyper-Reach icon on the right-hand side of the page.
During severe weather, Newkirk says that his office maintains close contact with local media outlets and uses social media to get information out to the public. Local print/online media, television stations and radio are often the best source of up to date information during severe weather.
With resources ranging from local weather and road conditions to information on emergency shelters and evacuations, the free ReadyNC app is a valuable, free resource for North Carolina residents. Developed by the N.C. Department of Emergency Management, this app can help your family develop a personalized plan for when severe weather strikes. The same information can be found at www.readync.org.