Prepare for hurricane season now

Published 7:09 pm Wednesday, June 3, 2020

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Hurricane season officially began Monday. We have already seen three formations of tropical storms with Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal. We, in Beaufort County, are very acquainted with hurricanes, but that doesn’t mean we need to be relaxed in regard to hurricane season. We need to be prepared!

There are important tips you and your family can do before, during and after a storm to be the most prepared and remain safe.



  • Talk to your insurance representative or independent agent and be sure that you are properly covered.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Listen for weather advisories and stay informed.
  • Repair loose boards, shingles, shutter, down spouts that could become greater problems in high winds or torrential rain.
  • Unclog or clear all outdoor drains, rain gutters, and downspouts.
  • Stock emergency supplies (battery powered raido, flashlights, extra batteries, medicines, first aid kit, a week’s worth of non-perishable food and water).
  • Charge your cell phone and fill your car with gas.
  • Program all emergency phone numbers in your phone.
  • Turn your fridge to the coldest setting so food will last longer if the power goes out.


  • Listen to a radio or, if possible, TV for information.
  • Secure your home (close storm shutters and secure furniture or things outside that could blow away)
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water to use for sanitary purposed, such as cleaning and flushing toilets.
  • If flooding begins, turn off electricity.
  • If advised to evacuate, go as soon as possible.
  • Do not burn anything larger than candles inside your home without providing adequate ventilation to the outside.
  • Do not use a generator inside your home, garage, crawl space or other enclosed areas.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. TURN AROUND! DON’T DROWN! (Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.)
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

If you go to a community shelter:

  • Follow the latest guidelines from the CDC and local health officials regarding protecting yourself from COVID-19.
  • Bring cleaning and disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.
  • Maintain at least six feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter.
  • Anyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.


  • Continue to listen to the radio for any updates
  • If you have evacuated, do not return until officials say it’s safe.
  • Avoid playing or wading in flood water, which could contain dangerous debris.
  • Keep away from loose power lines and report them to your local power company.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you know it isn’t contaminated.
  • Take pictures for insurance purposes to document property damage that occurred.

Hurricane season is here. Prepare now, not when the storm hits.

For more information regarding hurricanes preparedness and safety visit

JaNell Octigan, MPH, is the preparedness coordinator at Beaufort County Public Health Department.