Preparing Yourself for a Hurricane or Other Emergency
If a storm is headed your way, please make preparations in advance, and please obtain information from credible sources using the "Stay Informed" link below.
Don't wait to the last minute to make preparations, and be wary of re-posting weather-related information from sources that sensationalize events to generate clicks.
You should develop emergency plans before an emergency happens. The resources below are designed to help you be better prepared to keep yourself and your loved ones safe when an emergency arises.
- Sign up for CodeRED Emergency Alerts
- Hurricane safety tips for motorists (Turn Around, Don’t Drown!)
- Brunswick County Government Preparedness Information
- Brunswick County Government Website
- ReadyNC.org (NC Emergency Management — download the ReadyNC Mobile App)
- North Carolina Hurricane Evacuation Routes
- About Hurricanes
- Atlantic Tracking Map
- Infrared Satellite Image of the Atlantic from INTELLICAST
- Windspeed Conversion Chart
To get ready for a hurricane:
- Sign Up for ReadyBrunswick Emergency Notifications
- Build an emergency kit (click here for a checklist).
- Make a family communications plan (click here to download a sample).
- Know the routes you need to leave your home. Click here for a website map. Click here for a PDF map.
- Click here for more information on evacuation preparation.
- Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listening every hour as the storm nears.
- Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
- If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.
- If you leave (evacuate), be alert to flooded or washed-out roads. Just a few inches of water can float a car. Think: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- Keep a photo I.D. that shows your home address. You will need it when asking police if it is okay for you to re-enter your area or home.
- Secure your property (click here for a complete checklist).
- Bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Cover windows with permanent storm shutters or board up windows with 5/8” plywood, cut and ready to install. Tape does not stop windows from breaking.
- Put in straps or extra clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will lower roof damage.
- Trim trees and shrubs around your home, so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce garage doors. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Source: N.C. Department of Emergency Management
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
- Turn off gas, water and power if you are told to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Try not to use the phone, except for serious emergencies.
- Moor your boat if time permits.
- Make sure you have a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
- Find out how to keep food safe during and after an emergency.
Leave your home or area if you are:
- Told to do so by local police.
- In a mobile home or temporary structure. Such structures are particularly dangerous during high wind events no matter how well fastened to the ground.
- In a high-rise building because hurricane winds are stronger at higher levels.
- On the coast, in a floodplain, near a river or on an island waterway.
If you are unable to leave, go to the safest room in your house.
- Stay indoors during the hurricane. Stay away from windows and glass doors.
- Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
- Keep curtains and blinds closed.
- Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
- Take shelter in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
- Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
Source: N.C. Department of Emergency Management
- Stay tuned to local radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest news.
- Stay alert for extra rainfall and following flooding even after the storm has ended.
- Drive only if needed. Stay away from flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out, look for fallen objects, downed electrical wires, and weakened bridges, roads and sidewalks.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines. Report them as quickly as you can to the power company.
- If you need to reach your family, use your family communications plan or contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767 or visit the ARC Safe and Well site: www.safeandwell.org.
- If you cannot return home and need shelter, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
- Return home only when officials say it is safe.
- Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering. Stay out of any building if you smell gas, if floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire.
- Check your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your home check out by a trained building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
- Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering because the battery may make a spark that could cause leaking gas to catch on fire, if present.
- Many longer-term housing choices may be open to help those whose homes have been badly damaged or destroyed. Check this website or listen to local media after a hurricane to learn what choices may be open to you.
- Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
- Do not drink or make food with tap water until you are sure it’s not dirty.
- Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to not get hurt.
- Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
- NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or other enclosed areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for airing. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can stay around for hours, even after the generator has shut off.
Reporting Outages: Customers who experience an outage during a storm should call the automated outage-reporting system at 800.419.6356. Customers may also report an outage or view current outages using Duke’s online outage map.
Staying Informed: Duke Energy also will provide updates on its social media channels to keep customers informed if significant outages occur.
Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation
Outage Map: http://bemc.maps.sienatech.com/
Report an Outage: 1-800-682-5309 http://www.bemc.org/content/report-power-outage
Current Storm Updates: http://www.bemc.org/content/current-storm-updates