If you are new to North Carolina or the East Coast, this may be your first hurricane season. Residents of Raleigh and surrounding areas rarely have to evacuate, but hurricanes can wreak major havoc with flooding, blocked roads and power outages. Be prepared with food staples on hand that do not require cooking, any medication you may need and a supply of flashlights and batteries. Try to keep your gas tank full and your phones charged. Assess the trees/limbs around the house. Remove any that may be at risk for falling. Consider buying a large tarp for a damaged roof and a generator for any power outages. Verify that your homeowner’s insurance includes flood insurance. If high winds are expected, consider bringing outdoor furniture and other items in a garage or crawl space. Have an emergency plan that includes a safe place to sleep – away from windows and on a ground floor. Familiarize yourself with a safe evacuation plan if needed. If there is flooding, DO NOT attempt to walk or drive through it. Waters can be dangerous with hidden currents and/or downed power lines.
Hurricanes you say? There’s an app for that. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has improved communication with its own app which sends alerts and has helpful information such as emergency checklists and other resources. Check out https://www.fema.gov/mobile-app
For additional information:
For kids who wants to learn more about natural disasters:
Q: When is hurricane season on the East coast?
A: Hurricane season on the East Coast is from June 1 until November 30th
Q: What is the difference between a Hurricane watch and a warning?
A: Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.
Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.
Q: When does a tropical storm become a hurricane?
A: A tropical storm becomes a hurricane if its winds reach 119 km/hr (74 mph).
Q: Do tornadoes occur during a hurricane?
A: Tornadoes may crop up during a hurricane. The average tornado has winds speeds between 40 and 100 mph, but there have been tornadoes with wind speeds up to 300 mph.
Q: What is the ‘Eye of the Storm’
A: The eye of the storm is the center of circulation and often very calm with lower wind gusts and less rain. If you notice things have calmed down, just wait for the eye to pass by and the rest of the hurricane bands may pass over.
Q: How does a hurricane get its name?
A: Tropical storms are given names in alphabetical order as they form and keep their name if they progress to a hurricane.
Q: What are the 5 different hurricane categories?
A: Category 1: Winds 119-153 km/hr (74-95 mph) – faster than a cheetah
Category 2: Winds 154-177 km/hr (96-110 mph) – as fast or faster than a baseball pitcher’s fastball
Category 3: Winds 178-208 km/hr (111-129 mph) – similar, or close, to the serving speed of many professional tennis players
Category 4: Winds 209-251 km/hr (130-156 mph) – faster than the world’s fastest rollercoaster
Category 5: Winds more than 252 km/hr (157 mph) – similar, or close, to the speed of some high-speed trains
One of the most important things you can do for your family during a hurricane is not panic and be informed. Please take some time to visit the useful resources included in this post.