Officials urge storm preparedness


Staff Writer

Thursday, April 18, 2019

With thunderstorms expected to roll into the area over the next few days, emergency management officials are urging residents of the Twin Counties to be cautious and take the opportunity to get ready for hurricane season.

Wind gusts could be as high as 32 mph with surface winds at 23 mph, said Brent Fisher, assistant director of fire, rescue and emergency management for Nash County Emergency Services.

By Friday, the National Weather Service is calling for damaging winds, heavy rains and isolated tornadoes. Strong winds can knock out windows and cause damage to buildings. Heavy rainfall can cause flash flooding. Tornadoes can cause injury and death.

With such dangerous situations on the immediate horizon, people need to start thinking about hurricane season, which is just 45 days away, said FEMA spokesman John Mills.

"Now is the time to prepare for hurricane season," Mills said.

Hurricane season begins June 1. Taking steps now to prepare your family, home and business can make a big difference, Mills said.

Federal, state and local officials are asking families to:

■ Create an emergency communication plan, spelling out how everyone will contact each other, where to go and how to get back together.

■ Build an emergency kit. Keep it ready at home, at work and in the car.

■ Check insurance coverage. Damage caused by flooding is usually not covered by homeowners insurance policies. Buy flood insurance.

■ Know the community’s evacuation plan, evacuation routes and how to receive alerts.

■ Stay informed about current conditions. Listen to local officials and evacuation orders.

■ Download an emergency weather app. Have backup power for cellphones. Purchase a weather radio.

■ Keep all important documents in a waterproof container to take in case of evacuation.