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With hurricane season on its way, officials urge people to get ready for 'above-normal' year

State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey spoke on hurricane preparedness today at the Exchange Nature Center in Kinston.
Ryan Shaffer
PRE News & Ideas
State Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey spoke on hurricane preparedness today at the Exchange Nature Center in Kinston.

The North Carolina Insurance Commissioner joined local officials today in Kinston today (Wednesday) to speak on emergency preparedness ahead of the start of hurricane season. Commissioner Mike Causey said now is the time to speak with your insurance company to understand what is covered and to enroll in flood insurance if you don't already have it.

"People need to really understand that homeowner's policies do not cover flood," Causey said. "We learned that lesson during Hurricane Florence when we had 23 southeastern counties under water and 88,000 people lost their homes and everything in it and learned they had no insurance."

This year is expected be more active than usual, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service. In addition to checking in on insurance policies, officials urged people to build emergency kits with food, water and batteries and to get familiar with evacuation routes and to locate local emergency shelters.

The North Carolina Department of Emergency Management lists several actions to take before the season starts.

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Make a family communications plan.
  • Know you’re the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.

Kinston's Interim Fire Chief Chad Jackson spoke on what to do as a hurricane approaches and when it arrives.

  • 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.

More information on Hurricane Preparedness can be found online at readync.gov.

Ryan is an Arkansas native and podcast junkie. He was first introduced to public radio during an internship with his hometown NPR station, KUAF. Ryan is a graduate of Tufts University in Somerville, Mass., where he studied political science and led the Tufts Daily, the nation’s smallest independent daily college newspaper. In his spare time, Ryan likes to embroider, attend musicals, and spend time with his fiancée.