Get Ready for Hurricanes, Even in the Mountains
I recently visited family in my hometown of Wilmington, NC where all the buzz is hurricane talk. Just last year, the NC coast was decimated by Hurricane Florence so much that houses still don blue tarp roofs and spray-painted FEMA X’s.
August marks the height of the hurricane season and NOAA recently announced conditions this year favor “above-normal hurricane activity” thanks to the ending of El Nino. We can expect 10-17 storms, 5-9 of those being hurricanes and about half are predicted to be major ones. NC is one of the most open to hurricanes hitting because our coast extends out into the ocean unprotected save our brave barrier islands.
Here in our beautiful mountains we may think hurricanes are 300 miles away and 2200 feet down, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that we are still vulnerable to their effects such as tornadoes, flooding, high winds and landslides according to ReadyNC.org. Educating ourselves and being prepared is the key to safely riding out severe weather. We cite the following preparation tips for high-winds and flooding as offered by Mission Health’s 2018 blog.
Preparing for High Winds
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall – before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
Buy canned food and bottled water in advance.
Secure outside furniture or bring inside if possible.
Keep your cellphone fully charged so you have a full battery in case you lose power.
Fill up! Be sure your car and your generator have fuel.
Have food and water for your pets, too!
Preparing for Floods
Avoid walking or driving through high waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car or enter moving water.
Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
Click here for the Western NC Landslide Fact Sheet
Hurricane Readiness Tools
Ready NC App is the one-stop for information on everything from traffic jams to hurricanes to ice storms.
A Tip from Roost Home Watch
As a home watch company in the Southeast, Roost Home Watch was required to add hurricane preparedness curriculum in order to sit for our certification test. We are well suited to help ensure your property’s exterior and interior is ready for severe weather (related to hurricanes or not). We relocate outside furniture & possible projectiles, turn off gas, water heaters and water mains, unplug appliances, take pictures for insurance and more. We can also help to coordinating services for gutter cleaning, landscaping, electricians and the like. Just give us a call anytime.