DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Prepare for the storm – The Coastland Times

Most residents of the Outer Banks know how unpredictable the weather can be here.

With meteorologists predicting a busier than average 2022 hurricane season, it’s no surprise the governor’s office and area emergency management officials are encouraging North Carolina residents and visitors to prepare .

An important step is to prepare an emergency kit. The idea behind emergency kits is to provide a few basic supplies that will keep someone on their toes for at least a few days. A kit should contain enough non-perishable food and water for each family member to last three to seven days. Other essential items include:
• First aid kit
• Weather radio and batteries (or hand crank if possible)
• Prescription drugs
• Sleeping bag or blankets
• Cash
• Changes of clothes
• Hygiene items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and deodorant
• Pet supplies including food, water, bedding, leashes, muzzle and vaccination records
• Face masks and hand sanitizer
• Flashlight and batteries
• Easy-to-prepare non-perishable food and manual can opener
• Water (one gallon per person per day)
• Versatile tool, like a Swiss army knife
• Copies of personal documents
• Contact details for family and emergency contacts
• Mobile phone with charger
• Extra fuel for generator and/or car

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• Fire extinguisher

The quantity or number of each item needed will depend on the number of people in your family/group. You can also add items such as games, books, cards, and knitting/crocheting supplies to help keep people busy during a power outage.

Other preventative measures that could help avoid problems include trimming trees, covering windows, and securing loose outdoor objects before storms hit.

Either way, have a plan. Create a family emergency plan with an escape route. Never ignore an evacuation order. Pay attention to local advice regarding updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets. Protect seniors by noting and understanding their health and medical issues. Keep your pet safe before, during and after a hurricane or other major weather event. When possible, check in with neighbors and friends, keeping CDC recommendations in mind to protect yourself and others.

Many Outer Banks vacation rental providers offer vacation insurance, which will reimburse some or all of the money spent on accommodations if a named storm makes landfall on the Outer Banks. Keep in mind that this insurance only protects you in the event of a hurricane.

Although not part of an emergency kit, before hurricane season kicks into high gear, you may want to check your home and flood insurance policies for any necessary changes before a storm does not occur. Changes you may want to consider before or at the start of hurricane season include:
● Improve your home insurance coverage by adding extended or cost-new coverage to your policy
● Reduce your storm, named storm or hurricane deductible to an amount you can best afford
● Take out a separate storm insurance policy if wind and hail are excluded from your home insurance
● Purchase a flood insurance policy or endorsement