Hurricane season in North Carolina

The arrival of summer marks the beginning of another hurricane season. Last year the intense amounts of wind and rain created by Hurricane Katrina shattered the lives of countless Americans. In the wake of this tragedy many of us were left wondering what we would do if we ever found ourselves in a similar situation.

Preparation is the key to escaping a hurricane with minimal damage. Since we live in Eastern North Carolina the probability of a hurricane striking is extremely high, therefore precautions should be taken to reduce the effects of a disaster.

One of the first things that you can do to prepare for hurricane season is build a hurricane survival kit. The kit should include blankets, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food (enough for 3-7 days), water (1 gallon per person for 3-7 days), a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries.

By keeping this kit on hand you will take the burden of scrambling to find things off of your shoulders so that you can shift your focus to the safety of yourself as well as your family.

Next, if an evacuation is issued for your area, be sure to leave as soon as possible. Staying in your home will only put you in danger. You can rebuild and restore damage to your home, but your life is irreplaceable, so don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Have an evacuation plan ready so that when it’s time to leave you aren’t left wondering where to go. Keep important contact information for family and friends with you at all times so that you can easily find a place to stay until the storm passes.

Also, keep the number of hotels in other towns on hand so that if your family and friends have to evacuate as well you won’t be left stranded. If none of these options work for you, shelters are another option. Shelters usually open in the event of an emergency, and while they may not be the most comfortable place to stay, they are generally safe.

Hurricane preparation should also include learning about potential risks and predications for the season. This year forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predict a very active 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. An 80 percent chance of above-normal hurricane season activity is reflected in the predicted amount of activity.

The 2006 hurricane season outlook predicts 13-16 named storms, 8-10 hurricanes and 4-6 major hurricanes (category 3-4-5 storms).

Preparing for hurricanes before they strike is a key aspect in surviving them with a minimal amount of damage to our lives. When preparing for hurricane season we should keep in mind the devastation from years past, and look to the future with knowledge and understanding as a way to minimize the destruction.

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