If you are a native or even a transplant to the Carolinas, one topic that your family discusses around the dinner table when summer is underway is hurricanes. Experts tell us that the best time to prepare for the hurricane is not the weekend before but at least a few weeks in advance if possible. If you’re from the area, you know what a grocery store looks like two nights before the big storm hits it's like suddenly, there is a bread, milk and water shortage. If you plan ahead, you won’t be left PB&J-less.
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and forecasters at the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are already predicting a 35% chance of an “above-normal” season, a 40% chance of a “near-normal” season, and then a 25% chance of a “below-normal” season for the upcoming hurricane. Remember though that a near-normal or below-normal storm season is not something to shrug off or take lightly. These storms are severe and being properly informed as well as properly stocked up in your homes helps more than you realize. Think of it this way: in 2017, there were 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, six of those with winds greater than 110 miles per hour. One of those hurricanes damaged 100,000 homes and one, unfortunately, claimed the lives of 4,635 individuals.
Riptide Builders wants everyone safe, happy and healthy. We have compiled a list of things you can do before, during and after the hurricane.
Things you do can do before a hurricane strikes:
- Assemble an emergency preparedness kit – include items such as: water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, extra batteries, first aid kit, medications, personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phone with chargers, family and emergency contact information, extra cash
- Create a household evacuation plan and don’t forget your four-legged furry friends
- Stay informed about what your community’s plan is if they have one
- Talk to little ones about what to do during the hurricane, discuss it ahead of time to help reduce fear
- Make sure you have a device to access radio broadcasts in case you lose power
- Protect windows with storm shutters or plywood
- Find a place to stow away lawn furniture, toys, tools, garbage cans in case of heavy winds to keep these items from flying and hurting your home or people
- Clear your rain gutters and down spots, fix any that may be wobbly
- Make sure all cars are filled up with gas and even fill up that spare gas can just in case
- If you have a generator, make sure it is working properly
Right before the hurricane hits:
- Listen to local radio stations to stay up to date
- Be prepared to evacuate and move quickly – locate your nearest local emergency shelter
- Check your emergency kit one last time to make sure you have everything you need
- Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking
- Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances
How to stay safe during the actual hurricane:
- STAY INDOORS
- Leave the forecast to the forecasters, don’t go outside and walk on the beach to catch a glimpse or try and find that perfect Instagram shot
- Don’t walk, swim or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast-flowing water can knock a person over, two feet will float a car
- Use your flashlights if the power goes out
- Avoid contact with flood water – it could be contaminated
After the hurricane has passed:
- Let friends and family know you’re safe
- If you had to evacuate, check with local authorities to find out when it is safe to return home
- Continue to listen to local news
- Stay alert for any continual rainfall/flooding
Did you know that all homes built in the last five years in Coastal North Carolina MUST meet 130 mph wind ratings to pass code requirements? Riptide Builders installs Wayne Dalton Garage doors on all our homes which can withstand such full-force winds. When you build a new home with Riptide, you can trust it will meet more rigorous building and energy code requirements ensuring that your home weathers storms more efficiently than a used home. We not only want your family to be safe during the hurricane but also want you to have a safe home to come back to, that is why we take such great pride in the safety and care built into all our homes.
Following these simple tips will keep you and your family safe. Brunswick County's Hurricane Hotline can be reached at 1-800-522-2366.