Local News

State Officials Urge Preparedness For Upcoming Hurricane Season

Posted May 22, 2006

— Lessons learned during last year's traumatic hurricane season could help save lives this year once the season begins on June 1.

  • Ready North Carolina

    This year, the National Weather Service is predicting another active hurricane season. One noted expert has also predicted 17 named storms, five of which will be Category 3 or higher.

    To that end, North Carolina officials are urging residents to plan ahead for the upcoming season by getting ready for potential emergencies.

    "We think it's best for us to be prepared, and if it's less than that, no one's harmed by it," said Bryan Beatty, president of the North Carolina Crime Control and Public Safety, last September. "But if we're unprepared, then obviously, it can be costly."

    One simple way to get ready now for a storm: pack an emergency kit in a water-proof container that includes at least three to five days worth of supplies for each person in your household, including: a gallon of water per day per person; flashlights and batteries; and any prescription medicines. (See the

    Preparedness Checklists

    .)

    State officials want to avoid the missteps that happened when hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast last year, wiping out communities that are still rebuilding.

    North Carolina has its own history of damaging storms. Hurricane Ophelia's high winds and rain left their mark last year on parts of the North Carolina coastline.

    Dating back to 2004, hurricanes and tropical storms that hit the state killed more than a dozen people and left behind hundreds of millions of dollars in damage covering 50 counties.

    And the troubled spots aren't just on the coast as hurricanes Frances and Ivan proved in 2004. Those storms, combined, cost the state an estimated $200 million in damage.

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