From Scott Carlberg

Three rules for the public when it comes to hurricanes: Safety, safety, safety. Other words – preparedness, attentiveness.

NOAA: Estimated arrival of tropical force winds (9/10/18)

First, context. We are hearing more comparisons about the potential of Florence and some big storms in the past (from The Weather Center): Florence comparison: A review of monster Carolina hurricanes. Here are a few words from the article (as of 9/10/18): “… the key things to watch from this system will be the winds, the storm surge, and the rain. Should the storm make landfall at or near high-end Category 4 strength, as is currently forecast, we’d be looking at the potential for winds in excess of 250 km/h, with higher gusts. Given the massive size of the storm — which may appear as large as North Carolina across as it approaches the coast — devastating storm surge is also on the table. And finally, while locally heavy rain is a feature of any tropical system, the chance that the storm will slow as it nears the coast raises the risk of extreme accumulations, as well as catastrophic flash and freshwater flooding.”

This is potentially a major issue for inland Carolinians, not just those on the coast. It is time to keep an eyes and ears to state emergency management agencies, news and utilities as Hurricane Florence approaches the U.S. coast.

Second, Energy Consumers of the Carolinas lists a few resources that may help. It is not a comprehensive list:

Website Ready NC notes basic advice for hurricane preparation – from the ReadyNC site:

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Know you’re the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.
  • Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listening every hour as the storm nears.
  • Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
  • If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.
  • If you leave (evacuate), be alert to flooded or washed-out roads. Just a few inches of water can float a car. Think: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
  • Keep a photo I.D. that shows your home address. You will need it when asking police if it is okay for you to re-enter your area or home.
  • Secure your property.
  • Bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Cover windows with permanent storm shutters or board up windows with 5/8” plywood, cut and ready to install. Tape does not stop windows from breaking.
  • Put in straps or extra clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will lower roof damage.
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your home, so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce garage doors. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.

Remember: Safety, safety, safety.