IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HURRICANE MATTHEW
While recent forecasts indicate Hurricane Matthew’s eye may veer east avoiding landfall in North Carolina, impacts are expected to be felt far from the center of the storm. Residents and visitors in the southeastern part of the state can expect winds of 45 to 55 miles per hour beginning late Saturday morning, with some higher gusts possible. The Piedmont and northern Coastal Plain will see breezy conditions with gusts to 35 miles per hour.
Heavy rainfall of eight to 10 inches is expected in southeastern counties with one to three inches of rain expected along the I-95 corridor. The northeastern counties can expect to see one to two inches of rain offering them a potential respite from the recent heavy flooding.
Several coastal communities are issuing local states of emergency and some also have instructed visitors to evacuate. Numerous eastern and coastal counties are meeting today to decide whether additional evacuations are needed.
Meanwhile, Representative Price encourages residents to be ready by doing the following:
1. Replenish supplies and update your emergency kit.
Every family should have an emergency kit with enough bottled water (one gallon/person/day), nonperishable food and clothing to sustain each family member for three to seven days. The kit should include a flashlight, radio and spare batteries. Blankets, rain gear and appropriate footwear also are recommended. Special considerations must be made for the young or disabled. Remember to include baby food, diapers and medicines as appropriate. In addition, the kit should include photo copies of important family documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies. A complete checklist of items for your emergency kit can be found here.
2. Determine if you are in a storm surge zone.
Residents living in storm surge zones may be ordered to evacuate. Evacuation zones will be identified by local emergency managers through the news media. You also should know if your home is located in a flood plain. These areas suffer from heavy rains associated with hurricanes. Visit ncfloodmaps.com to determine if you are in a flood zone.
3. Plan for your pets.
Some shelters will allow small, domestic pets, but pet owners should bring supplies and vaccination records with them. Residents should attach identification and rabies tags to their pets' collars.
4. Obtain supplies to protect the home.
If residents are ordered to evacuate, there will be little time to protect their homes from the storm. Supplies, such as lumber and shutters, should be purchased now, and window casing pre-drilled. Homeowners should clear their property of all debris that could damage buildings in strong winds. Cars should be stored in the garage.
5. Stay Informed
Listen to local meteorologists and stay tuned to local media. Keep cell phones and other mobile devices charged in anticipation of power outages.
Download the free ReadyNC or FEMA mobile applications for emergency information on-the-go. The ReadyNC app provides real-time weather updates, traffic and flood conditions, shelter openings and evacuation listings. It also includes information about what to include in emergency kits and where to report power outages in North Carolina. The FEMA mobile app provides National Weather Service alerts, safety reminders, locations of shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person. Users can also upload and share disaster photos to help first responders.
Both mobile apps will provide further information about disaster recovery assistance should it be implemented after the storm passes.
Representative Price reminds residents to heed the directions of local officials and evacuate immediately if instructed to do so. Those who experience life-threatening emergencies should call 9-1-1.
For more information about how to get ready for a hurricane and what to do during or after a storm, go to ReadyNC.org. Follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on Hurricane Matthew.