Jun. 1—Hurricane season has arrived and, with it,
"Have a plan,"
Kite noted that it's unsafe to judge the potential damage of a hurricane by its wind speeds alone: some of our worst, such as Florence in 2018, were only Category 1 or 2 when they arrived.
Also consider the speed and size of the hurricane, and how weather conditions are working to lessen or increase damage. Florence was met with perfect conditions to push an immense flood surge — created while it was still a Category 4 in the ocean — up the Neuse and into
Flooding can also take place from a more inland direction, when a hurricane stalls or crawls slowly across an area, dropping huge amounts of rain that put rivers and creeks into flood stage.
Kite said the county's EMS website includes links you can follow to find out if your home is in a flood zone. If it is, you should have an evacuation plan, knowing where you can go to wait out the storm. It isn't always necessary to leave the area — friends or families whose homes are not in the flood zone may be ready to take you in, and all the hurricane-prone counties have shelters set up where you need only bring the supplies you need.
You should also do an update check on your flood insurance.
Kite reminded residents to make sure their pets are cared for. Only designated shelters allow them, and all require the pets are up to date on shots and are kept in portable kennels.
"Check on your neighbors, too," he said. Neighbors — especially elderly ones — may need help in both preparation and recovery from storms. If you stay in your home, check on your neighbors as soon as it is safe.
And remember family: not only those in danger during the storm, but those who are worried about you. Kite said lines were often tied up with callers from outside the area trying to find out about loved ones after storms.
A hurricane kit is also a must.
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