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Hurricane Preparedness Week continues through Saturday. And organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service are using each day of the week to focus on a specific aspect of disaster readiness.

Hurricane Florence Strengthens; Officials Preach Preparedness

National Hurricane Center / NOAA
Hurricane Florence Strengthened into a Category 1 storm Sunday morning. The current track projects the storm to become a Category 4 as she nears the Cape Fear region.

Hurricane Florence is strengthening as she moves across the Atlantic.  While it’s not yet a fait accompli  that she’ll ram the Southeastern North Carolina coast, she will bring impacts.  Here are some preparation guidelines.

Now is the time.  That’s the message from emergency management officials.  Hurricane Florence could bring big impacts from storm surge on the coast and inland flooding from prolonged rainfall if she continues on this track. 

Earlier this year, New Hanover County Emergency Management and 911 Director Steven Still worried complacency could be this region’s biggest enemy.

"It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen a Fran, Floyd, Bertha.  For my family, we were almost a month without power in the northern part of New Hanover County.  And it’s not ‘til you live through something like that do you have the urge, that sense of – you need to prepare for something like that.  When we have these ones and twos and tropical storms, your power goes out for an evening.  There’s not that heightened sense of awareness."

Still urges residents to get a battery-powered weather radio.  Follow reliable sources on social media, such as the National Weather Service and county emergency management.  Stock up on water – 1 gallon per person per day for 3-7 days, food that isn't perishable and doesn’t require cooking, prescription medication, cash, gas, and make a clear plan for your family – including your pets. 

For detailed checklists on family plans, putting together a supply kit, and hurricane information, visit ReadyNC.org


You and your family members may not be in the same place when an emergency happens. It is important to plan ahead and talk about what you will do before, during and after an emergency. You need to talk about how will you get to a safe place, get in touch with each other and get back to each other. Download the Family Emergency Plan

Your plan should contain:

  • Phone numbers of a pre-assigned contact person for family members to call
  • List of where to find information on shelters (television, radio, this website, ReadyNC mobile app)
  • How to be safe if you stay in your home during an emergency
  • What to do with your pets
  • Thoughts about any older adults or those with functional needs in the home

Mold your plans for your family’s needs. Think about creating a group of neighbors, friends or family to help each other in emergencies. Talk how that group can help each other connect, care for children, pets or other needs.
Knowing how you will respond to an emergency at home, school or work will help you remain calm, think clearly and react well.

Being ready helps you and your family. It also lowers the workload of fire fighters, police and emergency medical workers.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.