Tuesday, October 9, 2018

North Carolina Monitoring Hurricane Michael and Preparing for Impacts Gov. Cooper Reminds Residents to Update Emergency Plans, Restock Needed Supplies

<p>Governor Roy Cooper today urged North Carolinians to prepare for Hurricane Michael, even as families, businesses, schools and communities continue to clean up and rebuild from Hurricane Florence.</p>
Oct 9, 2018

Governor Roy Cooper today urged North Carolinians to prepare for Hurricane Michael, even as families, businesses, schools and communities continue to clean up and rebuild from Hurricane Florence.

North Carolina is expected to start to feel impacts from the storm late Wednesday or early Thursday. State and local emergency management officials are taking steps to prepare for Hurricane Michael, and Governor Cooper today encouraged North Carolinians to update their own emergency plans and supplies.

“I know people who weathered Florence last month and other storms before don’t want to even think about another one,” said Gov. Cooper. “But we have to. So I’m asking you to be watchful and alert, and to get ready.”

Governor Cooper asked North Carolinians to review their emergency plans and restock emergency supplies, including food, water, flashlights, extra batteries, and medications. The Governor reminded residents to prepare for possible power outages and to stay tuned to local news and monitor weather forecasts closely. People should know their evacuation route in case they are asked to leave, and plan in advance how to contact family and friends.

Hurricane Michael is a powerful storm passing through the Gulf of Mexico that is expected to make landfall in Florida tomorrow. Officials caution that even though North Carolina won’t take a full-force hit this time, the forecast track could bring strong winds and rain to the state.

Areas of southeastern North Carolina recently impacted by Hurricane Florence could feel tropical storm force winds. Further inland, winds aren’t projected to be as powerful, but still strong enough to rip tarps off roofs damaged by Florence. Gov. Cooper encouraged people whose homes were damaged by Florence to take steps to make their homes secure before Michael hits, if they are able to do so safely.

Most of the state could see 2 to 5 inches of rain, with more possible in central North Carolina. Heavy rain could quickly lead to flash flooding, especially where the ground is still saturated from Florence. Wet ground also means it won’t take much wind to bring down trees, and with them, power lines. 

Along our coast and sounds, Michael may cause moderate storm surge. Although Michael is not predicted to bring major river flooding to North Carolina, officials will be watching rivers closely due to Michael. 

“If you live in flood prone areas, listen and watch for warnings and be prepared to evacuate if you’re asked to go,” Gov. Cooper urged North Carolinians.

Unlike Florence, this storm is expected to move through the state quickly, and conditions should improve on Friday.

The State Emergency Operations Center plans to activate Wednesday to monitor the storm and will be ready to respond if needed. Already, state Emergency Management staff are coordinating with the counties and State Emergency Response Team partners to identify potential needed resources, said NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. State emergency management officials are also in contact with the National Hurricane Center and Federal Emergency Management officials.

“Our local, state and federal partners are working together and making sure we are prepared to respond to any impacts from the storm in North Carolina,” Director Sprayberry said. “North Carolina residents can help by monitoring river levels by using fiman.nc.gov, where you can sign up for mobile alerts to be notified about rising waters around you.”

Download the Ready NC app or visit ReadyNC.org to follow weather updates and learn about how you can prepare for the storm.

Tips for Emergency Plans and Supplies Kit:

•    Be sure your emergency supply kits have enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include cell phone charger, prescription medicines, copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies. 
•    Plan for your pets. Gather supplies for your pets and put them in an easily-accessible container.  
•    Prepare your home. Clean out gutters and clear property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds.  
•    Stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials. 


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