Plan Ahead for Severe Weather

by Ann Barnes, EMGV

Severe weather is in the news. Do you have a plan in place in case a disaster strikes here? Durham County Emergency Management has a Pre-Disaster Planning Guide available on their website. Even if Irma continues to track west of the Triangle, it’s a good time to create a plan for your home and family (including pets). (Spanish version available here)

Since the current forecast calls for a perfect gardening weekend, take some time to get your yard prepared for possible wind and heavy rain that could affect us early next week. Secure outdoor furniture, garbage cans, potted plants, bird feeders, toys, and any garden art that could blow around and become a projectile. A sheltered location on your property will do if it is not possible to move items indoors. Make sure that outdoor drains and gutters are clear of debris. If you see broken or damaged tree limbs, consider trimming them. Harvest vegetables and fruits growing in your yard. Partially ripe produce will continue to ripen, so don’t let those tomatoes and peppers blow away!



Getting ready for a hurricane

What To Do Before a Hurricane Arrives
Here are’s suggestions for what to do 36 hours prior to a hurricane:

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.
  • Never drive through flooded streets. Water may be deeper than you expect.
  • Make sure you have food that can be prepared without electricity, drinking water, and any necessary medication before a hurricane arrives. Don’t forget your pets.
  • You may want to have cash on hand in case the power is out for several days.
  • Around the house and garden, make sure to secure garbage cans, grills, outdoor furniture, hanging baskets and planters, bicycles and toys, and any other objects that could become airborne in high winds.

Additional Sources:

-Compiled by Ann Barnes, EMGV