May 1-7 is North Carolina Hurricane Preparedness Week
Special to Iredell Free News
Iredell County Emergency Management officials encourage residents to plan now for hurricanes by updating their emergency plans and supply kits. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.
“In order to protect you and your family, the time to get prepared for a tropical storm such as a hurricane, or any disaster is now,” said Kent Greene, director of Fire Services and Emergency Management. “Begin by having a plan and a survival kit. They are not complicated to create, just visit ReadyNC.gov and you can download a plan template and you’ll find a list of items to include in your kit. You and your family should also take the time to practice your emergency plan so everyone knows where to go and who to contact when disaster strikes.”
If you have an emergency plan, now is also the time to make sure all of the information is up to date and talk to your neighbors about their plans, especially those who may need assistance such as senior citizens. Typically, there is a great deal of advance warning that a storm such as a hurricane is coming. If your plan and kit are up to date, that gives you ample time to mitigate damage to your home or business by taking some commonsense measures such as trimming trees, covering windows, securing loose outdoor items and more.
Although Iredell County has not seen a direct impact from a hurricane recently, remnants of hurricanes and tropical storms can bring high wind and torrential rainfall to the area. As recently as 2021, the remnants of Hurricane Zeta caused damage to homes and knocked out power to thousands.
To encourage residents to prepare, the National Weather Service has declared May 1-7 as Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina. Iredell County residents should take this time to review and practice their emergency plans.
Emergency Management urges Iredell County families and businesses to write down their plan and gather important documents, such as copy of driver’s license, insurance policies, medicals records, and bank account statements, and put them somewhere they can quickly access in case of emergency. Assemble an emergency supplies kit that includes enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days.
Other essential items include:
• First-aid kit
• Weather radio and batteries
• Prescription medicines
• Sleeping bag or blankets
• Changes of clothes
• Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
• Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
• Face masks and hand-sanitizer
Make sure to review and update homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to ensure they include coverage for damage, natural disasters and flood insurance.
Iredell County residents should stay informed during severe weather by using a battery-powered radio for weather and evacuation information and should know evacuation routes in their community. When asked to evacuate, residents should leave the area immediately.
“Having a plan and being prepared improves your chances of surviving and recovering from the damage of severe weather,” said Greene. “If you’re asked to evacuate due to potential danger, you should do so. You’ll not only be protecting yourself but also emergency responders who may have to risk their lives to save you if you don’t evacuate.”
More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness is online at www.ReadyNC.gov.