Easley Tells Residents to Get Ready for Rough Hurricane Season

Posted May 22, 2007
Updated May 31, 2007

— Many hurricane experts are expecting an active hurricane season, and state leaders are urging residents to start preparing now.

Gov. Mike Easley and other officials held a news conference Tuesday to remind residents what to do when a storm comes.

“Sub-tropical storm Andrea was a wake-up call for our state and a reminder to all North Carolinians to get ready for what could be a busy hurricane season,” Easley said. “Our state’s vulnerability to hurricanes ranks second only to Florida, so every citizen must be prepared.”

Easley also discussed results from a Mason-Dixon poll conducted earlier in May indicating most North Carolinians are not concerned about or prepared for major storms during this hurricane season.

“Citizens across our state must take personal responsibility to prepare themselves and their families for emergencies so they can be safe on their own for the first few days after a storm,” said Easley. “If those who are able to prepare will do so, then police officers, firefighters and EMS crews will be able to help those in life threatening situations first.”

The Democrat, however, reiterated that the war on terror and in Iraq has left the National Guard without the time to train, or the resources it needs, to adequately respond to a multistate catastrophe, such as a pandemic.

He again noted that while only 800 soldiers of the state's 11,500 guard members are deployed, half of the guard's equipment is currently overseas. By September, in the height of the six-month hurricane season, the guard only expects to have about 60 percent of its equipment on hand.

"The guard cannot continue to work at an operational level rather than a strategic level much longer," Easley said. "It just won't work long term."

While predicting storms is not an exact science, the team at North Carolina State University was right on last year when they called a quieter-than-normal season. This year, however, the team predicts warm water in the Atlantic will brew 12 to 13 named storms.

WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said that an active season in the Atlantic doesn't necessarily mean we will be busy in North Carolina.

"We could have an active year as a whole in terms of the big picture, but the number of storms that come to North Carolina may or may not be that great," he said.

In the event of a hurricane larger than a Category 3, Easley said the state would need to ask for help from its neighbors. Lt. Col. Steve Martin of the North Carolina National Guard said officials have prepared a list of items that the guard may need from other states.

"We do not have, on the state level right now, the resources that it takes to respond the way governors want to respond," Easley said.

Still, a hurricane does not have to hit North Carolina to hit the wallet. Officials said an active storm season will send gas prices soaring even higher than they are already.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.


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  • gwerbi May 23, 2007

    They say the same thing every year......They are wrong more than right.

  • HangOn May 23, 2007

    Why is everyone always shocked to hear that we might have a dozen or so big storms? Isn't that pretty much how its' been since they've been keeping reords?

  • Run_Forrest_Run May 22, 2007

    Another flood like Floyd, and I leave Rocky Mount and head to Arizona. Here's hoping (I want to say praying - but will catch heck if I do) that we don't have any huge storms ever again.

  • whats it to ya May 22, 2007

    Yep..its about time to check my new Generator out..and get the house all set up to run off it..I feel sorry for the ones who dont have will save on the parishables..Took a lesson from Fran..being without power for a week and a half was no fun..Wont get me way.

  • nc lover May 22, 2007

    I dont know about you but during Fran I had some Rood Damage - not that big of a deal but boy did the Wind really get to me and all that rain. The next time a storm like that threatens Raleigh - I'm packing up and getting the H-E-Double Hockey sticks out of Dodge. I'll go up to Cherokee or something and have some fun for a couple of days. And I know there is alot of Hotels/Motels that except pets now - So our kids will come as well.

  • The ORIGINAL ladybug May 22, 2007

    The bottom line is, he is just covering his you know what by telling people to prepare. Like another poster said, too many people wont prepare, and those people will be the ones looking for government handouts. Where has personal responsibility gone nowadays?

  • Huey May 22, 2007

    Come on you guys - Gov. Easley is just doing his job. I don't
    support everything he does but this preparing for emergencies
    is a vital part of his job and I think he does it well. I remember
    during Fran I think it was, I heard him on the ham frequencies
    asking about conditions in Wilmington when the phone lines were
    down. Gave me confidence in knowing those in Raleigh were on
    top of things. Let's just hope we don't have any bad storms this coming season. But it always pays to be ready.

  • geauxcajun May 22, 2007

    Retired Army Chief - you may not be able to prepare your mobile home, but you can prepare yourself and family by having supplies on hand (including enough food and water for several days), as well as following warnings to evacuate if it ever comes to that. Part of the problem after any major catastrophe is that residents don't have enough supplies on-hand to take care of themselves until help can get to them. I always have at least 6-8 gallons of bottled water on hand, and even that is not really enough for several days! My husband thinks that I am a worry wart, but I keep an emergency supply box in a closet that we have designated as our tornado shelter and I always rotate fresh batteries, least I know that I will be able to take care of my family in an emergency.

  • the alliance May 22, 2007

    Alright're right. but how can I prepare my double mobile home thats aledgedly achored to the foundation?

  • jeebk04 May 22, 2007

    jenbo, OMG, I rememeber that one! My poor doggy, with his little short legs, he just got lost in the snow. We had to walk down the road to the CVS on capital, only thing open! :)