Hurricane Florence -- Mission Health shares Safety and Preparedness Tips on their Blog... excellent information we felt we needed to share here on WNCTIMES!
By Samantha Kappalman
Hurricane Florence is expected to affect the western North Carolina area starting this Thursday and into the weekend, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and more. Be prepared! Go to NCReady.org and download the NC Ready app to sign up for North Carolina Emergency Management alerts and get preparedness tips.
Though we don’t have to evacuate here in the mountains, we will most likely feel the impact from the hurricane that hits the coast.
Be Prepared for Flooding
Turn on your TV and radio. Make sure you have one battery-powered radio – you will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, extra batteries, cash and first aid supplies.
Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage and from becoming projectiles if we have high winds.
Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water – you could be electrocuted.
If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions. (Do not turn the gas back on yourself. Call your gas company.)
Are you on well water? Read safety tips for your well.
Basic Safety Tips for Flooding
Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®
Avoid walking or driving through high waters. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.
If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car or enter moving water.
Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.
Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.
Preparing Your Home for Hurricane-Strength Winds
Make sure you have an Emergency Plan and Kit before the storm strikes.
Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall – before hurricane season, trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high winds and in locations above flooding levels.
Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
Buy canned food and bottled water in advance.
Secure outside furniture or bring inside if possible.
Keep your cellphone fully charged so you have a full battery in case you lose power.
Fill up! Be sure your car and your generator have fuel.
Have food and water for your pets, too!
If you need care during severe weather, consider visiting with a doctor online with Mission Virtual Clinic. Visit missionhealth.org/virtualclinic to learn more.
Stay informed at ncready.org and find storm-related resources at ncdps.gov/florence.
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