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Hurricane Preparedness Week: Make a plan and be ready for hurricane season

Hurricane evacuation
Hurricane evacuation(Flickr — nathalienation)
Published: May. 10, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Hurricane season is just around the corner and New Hanover County officials are encouraging residents to be prepared.

The season runs from June 1 - November 30 each year, with most activity between August and November; to help you get prepared, May 9 - 15 is designated as Hurricane Preparedness Week.

County officials also want people to continue considering the effects of COVID-19 in their hurricane preparedness plans.

“Last year we had the opportunity to build out our emergency plans with COVID-19 in mind, and the pandemic continues to influence how we approach hurricane season, especially regarding logistical response and sheltering plans,” said New Hanover County Emergency Management Director Steven Still. “We know all too well it only takes one storm to impact our area for weeks or months, so we encourage all residents to take the time now to prepare. Make sure your household knows what to do, where to go, and who to contact when a hurricane impacts our area.”

Residents are encouraged to have the following basic plan in place ahead of the season:

Social distancing and safety measures will reduce the capacity at county storm shelters this year. Identify a safe place to go inland, like a hotel or friend or family member’s home safer than your own. If you haven’t yet, get vaccinated against COVID-19 and consider ways to safely expand your circle of interaction by maintaining social distancing, staying in one space as much as possible and bringing your own amenities like food and bedding.

In addition to emergency supplies like food, water, batteries, medications, pet supplies, important documents and other needs, add items like face coverings and hand sanitizer to kits this year. Your emergency kit should include enough supplies for five to seven days.

Visit ReadyNHC.com to register for emergency alerts, sign up for New Hanover County emergency news updates, and subscribe to National Weather Service updates.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts shelter capacities. Guidance form the American Red Cross indicates each person needs 100 square feet of space to prevent viral spread. With this in mind, county shelters should be considered a last resort and residents are encouraged to check out other options ahead of time.

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety encourages everyone to check this map to determine where the flood zones are. Those in flood zones are at a higher risk of storm surge and should update their home insurance and review evacuation routes.

If you wish to donate hurricane supplies, visit ShareCapeFear.org which is part of the New Hanover Disaster Coalition to view wish lists or make monetary donations.

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