2012 Hurricane Preparedness Information
Over a typical two-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of three hurricanes, one of which is classified as a major hurricane. While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depressions also can be devastating. Floods from heavy rains and severe weather can cause extensive damage and loss of life.
Hurricane season in North Carolina officially runs from June 1 through November 30, with the peak risk ranging from mid-August to the end of October. With many tropical storms and at least four hurricanes forecasted for the Atlantic coast during this peak season, the City of Raleigh wants its citizens to be well-informed and prepared to handle a storm.
If a hurricane is approaching, the City of Raleigh will provide information here on the website. In addition, information will be sent to area media outlets to help keep people informed. A list of local radio stations and TV networks can be found on the Ready Wake website.
Sign up for alerts at MyRaleigh. This Service from the City will be able to provide citizens with better service and access to relevant, critical information by proactively delivering new information through email and wireless alerts.
The City of Raleigh will also be updating its Twitter feed. This feed features links to any news releases and alerts issued by the City of Raleigh.
In order to best mitigate the effects of a hurricane before it is a threat, you should take the following measures:
- Build an emergency kit and make a plan. Be sure to have enough food, water, and supplies to last at least three days.
- Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone, and determine whether levees and dams pose a hazard to you.
- Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Learn locations of official shelters. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
- Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and battery-powered equipment.
- Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed. Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
The Storm is Looming
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should do the following activities as soon as possible:
- Check the City of Raleigh’s website, listen to the radio, or watch TV for information.
- Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
- Fuel and service family vehicles. Be sure to have extra cash on hand.
- Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Prepare to cover all windows and doors with shutters or other shielding materials. Reinforce your garage doors.
- Turn off utilities and propane tanks.
Evacuate under the following conditions:
- If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
- If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
- Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
The Skies Have Cleared
Once the storm has passed through the area, there are many important steps to aid in community response and recovery:
- Check the City of Raleigh’s website and the local news coverage for the latest updates.
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
- Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed¬ out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
- Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage before entering.
- Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
- If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out. Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.