Local News

Homeland Security Chief Discusses State's Hurricane Plan

Posted June 18, 2007 7:43 a.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2007 5:01 p.m. EDT

— U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff met with Gov. Mike Easley Monday to discuss North Carolina's hurricane readiness.

Easley and Chertoff said they want to make sure North Carolina is prepared in the event of a hurricane. Recent polls suggest most residents statewide don't have a disaster plan or an emergency kit, Easley said.

The governor touted a new video, "Get Ready North Carolina," and the Web site readync.org as places state residents can get all the information they need to prepare for a storm.

The last time the state was really tested was in September 2005, when Hurricane Ophelia lashed the coast.

Since then, more members of the North Carolina National Guard have been deployed to Iraq, weakening the state's hurricane response capabilities. But both Easley and Chertoff said North Carolina is covered for anything short of a catastrophe.

"We've got more than enough at the National Guard level, both locally and nationwide, and supported by (the Defense Department), who deal with a number of disasters," Chertoff said.

"You get to a Category 4 or 5 (hurricane), we're going to need additional help here, and I think everybody recognizes that. The good news is, we generally know in advance if that's what we're facing," Easley said.