June 1st marks the official start of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting 10-16 named storms. Of those, 5-9 are expected to be hurricanes and 1-4 major hurricanes. Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport Chris Collins says there’s a 75 percent chance of a near or above normal hurricane season.
“There is a possibility of a weak El Nino developing later in the summer which that typically cuts down on the number of storms. The biggest thing that we always try to emphasis is that even in an inactive season, it only takes one storm to make, you know, a huge impact.”
This season got an early start with Subtropical Storm Alberto causing mudslides and flooding in western North Carolina this week. It’s the fourth consecutive year for storm formation before the official start of hurricane season. Collins says now is the time to restock your disaster supplies kit and figure out evacuation plans.
"In our area, historically, most of the deaths have occured because of inland flooding. You know, we had massive flooding the in inland areas during Matthew, we had it many years before that during Floyd, so that's one of the biggest dangers in here particularly if you get a slow moving system, it could dump upwards of a foot of rain in some of those inland areas and those rivers rise pretty quickly."
Being prepared before a tropical storm or hurricane impacts eastern North Carolina can help keep you and your family safe. Here's information on forming emergency/evacuation plans from the National Hurricane Center:
Prepare A Disaster Supplies Kit
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
- First aid kit
- Extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Make Emergency Plans
Develop and document plans for your specific risks.
- Protect yourself and family with a Family Emergency Plan - [PDF]
- Be sure to plan for locations away from home
- Business owners and site locations should create Workplace Plans
- Make sure schools and daycares have School Emergency Plans
- Pet owners should have plans to care for their animals. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offer information on animal health impacts in evacuation shelters.
- Prepare your boat and be aware of marine safety if you are on or near the water.
Health & Environment
Follow guidelines to guard your community's health and protect the environment during and after the storm.
- Review the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) health considerations before, during, and after a storm.
- Remember to follow the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) food and water safety guidelines during disasters.
- Review the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggestions for health and environmental safety in disaster preparedness.
- Review the FEMA Evacuation Guidelines to allow for enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home. FOLLOW instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
- Consider your protection options to decide whether to stay or evacuate your home if you are not ordered to evacuate.
- Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.
- Remember that recovering from a disaster is usually a gradual process.