Raleigh Sep 7, 2018 – While the track of Tropical Storm Florence remains uncertain, state and local emergency management officials are already taking steps to prepare for potential impacts to North Carolina. Governor Roy Cooper today encouraged North Carolinians to use the weekend to update their own emergency plans and supplies.
“We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms,” said Gov. Cooper. “It’s too early to tell what impacts Florence may have on North Carolina, but it’s not too early to prepare for this storm. North Carolina is getting ready, and I urge families and businesses to do the same.”
Governor Roy Cooper asked North Carolinians to monitor the weather forecast over the next several days and said now is the time to review personal and home preparedness by practicing emergency plans and updating emergency supplies.
Florence weakened to a Tropical Storm on Thursday, but the storm is expected to re-intensify to a hurricane over the coming days due to forecasted low shear and warm sea surface temperatures. Meteorologists say it’s too early to predict the storm track or intensity, but some type of impact on North Carolina appears likely.
North Carolina could begin to feel the first effects from Florence as soon as this weekend, with dangerous surf expected at the coast. Emergency officials are warning beach goers to be extremely cautious as large ocean swells and dangerous rip currents are expected along the entire coast beginning this weekend.
“North Carolina beaches are beautiful this time of year, but we want to remind our beach visitors to look out for dangerous surf and rip currents and heed warning from local officials and lifeguards,” Cooper said.
The State Emergency Operations Center plans to activate Monday 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 taking Florence seriously and making sure we are prepared to respond to any North Carolina impacts from the storm,” Director Sprayberry said. “North Carolina residents can help by getting their supply kits ready and reviewing their emergency plans.”
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.