Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today; local officials urge preparedness

Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today; officials urge preparedness
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Southeastern North Carolina is currently not under a pending threat from a tropical storm, but experts say that early preparations make a big difference when a storm hits.

Emergency responders are already moving to ensure New Hanover County is ready for a storm with the official start of hurricane season beginning on June 1.

“It only takes one storm for something significant to happen. And we only have to look back to 2018. And there was one East Coast strike, and her name was Florence,” NHC Emergence Management Assistant Director Anna McRay said.

The NHC Emergency Management team says that with the severe flooding that countless other storms brought when they hit the region, the key to safety is being prepared.

“The number one tip for folks to keep in the back of their minds, is planning ahead and thinking ahead, is going to make it so that you’re not going to be so panicked when an incident happens,” McRay says.

A simple preparedness kit should be put together as soon as possible with items like water, extra batteries, medications and first aid kits, with emergency kits for your pets as well. McRay says the first three days after a disaster are critical due to the possibility of no power, gas or phone signal.

“On blue sky days like today, this is when you want to, you know, think about well, what does my family need to be better prepared? What are my pets need? What are my kids’ needs?” McRay said.

Emergency teams and first responders are also looking into past severe storms to make sure they’re better prepared as well for future storms. They encourage residents to practice going over their evacuation route and to make sure valuable documents and belongings are taken care of.

“What can we do better? How could we improve sheltering? How can we improve, you know, community outreach, and apply that to our plan and make that kind of just the pathway for that we follow for future events?” McRay says.

You can learn more about how to prepare in the video above.