WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Just weeks away from the peak of hurricane season, emergency management officials have an important message for everyone.
Leader say now is the best time to prepare, well before our region is under a hurricane watch or warning. As we continue to see cases of COVID-19 on the rise, your plan might be different than years past.
In addition to food, water, and medicine experts say you also need to add items to your kit like masks, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer. They’re key items that can be purchased gradually if you begin planning for the worst ahead of time.
“Preparing for this year, especially for vulnerable and income insecure families, is going to be instrumental. I mean already a lot of people are tight on their budget and everything like that and thinking of adding more expenses to get ready can be really stressful and daunting,” said Audrey Hart, NHC emergency management specialist. “I’ve personally gone to the Dollar Tree and made a decent sized emergency kit. It doesn’t have to be expensive, you can grab toothpaste and toothbrushes and water at the Dollar Tree.”
Now’s the time to check whether or not you’re in a flood zone and find out where you and your pets would evacuate to if there was a storm headed our way. Experts say finding a place to stay is more important than ever, because COVID-19 has changed how shelters here operate.
“Our sheltering capacity is limited because we follow the gold bar standard of the American red cross to be able to give enough social distancing and space and everyone that would be an emergency shelter so needing to spread out more has reduce are sheltering capacity so I’ll shelters would be available these refugees of last resort should be the very last option,” said Anna Mcray, New Hanover County’s assistant director of emergency management.
Leaders urge everyone to make a plan, build a kit and stay informed – if you don’t know where to start we have several resources for you in the WECT Hurricane Center or you can see the county’s guides online here.
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