Latest Storm Update

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018
Florence is currently a Category 2 Hurricane that is predicted to make landfall on the southern coast of North Carolina on Thursday afternoon, September 13th.

The first, outer most rainbands are already bringing gusty showers to the North Carolina Outer Banks. Rainbands will continue to push towards the coast this morning. By this afternoon, heavy rainbands capable of producing tropical storm force winds will be impacting the coast from Wilmington, NC to Cape Hatteras. Late tonight or very early tomorrow morning, the center of Florence is expected to move ashore into southeast North Carolina. Near the landfall location, winds of over 100 mph are likely. A prolonged period of damaging winds is expected for coastal areas from the Grand Strand to the southern Outer Banks. Dangerous storm surge is expected along the North Carolina Coast from Wilmington to the southern Outer Banks. We cannot rule out significant surge as far south as the Grand Strand.

Florence is expected to be a significant rain producer through the weekend for the Carolinas due to the system's slow motion. Catastrophic flooding is likely over northeastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina. Rainfall heavy enough to result in flooding is expected as far inland as the mountains of western North Carolina this weekend.


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Items to Consider in Preparation

Hurricane season is upon us once again, with peak season between mid-August to late October. These strong storms can leave a wide wake of destruction in their path. Being prepared is your best defense.

Any pregnant woman late in her third trimester or who is considered high-risk may be asked to stay at the hospital in the event of a hurricane. Please check with your physician to determine the best course of action for your individual circumstance.

Being prepared to face the storm is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Below are some expert tips for success.

  • Identify where you will go if you need to evacuate - i.e., relative, friend, public shelter, etc.
  • Prepare your hurricane supplies-refer to the list provided for guidance on supplies.
  • Stay informed of the latest updates and evacuation orders.
  • Prepare a detailed list of information about the specifics of your medication regime.
  • Consult your physician and medical supply vendors to make sure you are adequately prepared for a hurricane.
  • Contact your local emergency information management office if you have any concerns.
  • Wear medical alert tags or bracelets to identify your disability and/or medical condition.

You should stock your home with supplies that may be needed during the emergency period.
At a minimum, these supplies should include:

  • Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  • Food - enough for at least 3 to 7 days; non-perishable packaged or canned food and beverages, snack foods, juice, foods for infants or those with strict diets
  • Non-electric can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, plastic cups
  • Grill, cooking tools, fuel, charcoal
  • Blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, etc.
  • Clothing – seasonal/rain gear/sturdy shoes or boots
  • First Aid Kit, prescriptions, medications, sun screen, aloe and bug spray
  • Special items for babies, elders, persons with disabilities
  • Toiletries – hygiene items and sanitation wipes
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Extra house and car keys, office keys and name badge
  • Cash – banks/ATMs may not be available after the storm
  • Radio - battery operated or hand cranked radio, NOAA weather radio
  • Toys, books, games
  • Important documents in a waterproof container – include insurance cards, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security Cards, birth and marriage certificates, etc.
  • Document all valuables
  • Tools – keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle – keep your motor vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items – pet food and water, proper identification, medical records, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash, medications
  • List of important numbers – including your country emergency management office, evacuations sites, doctors, bank, area schools, veterinarian, etc.

36 Hours Away

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

18-36 Hours Away

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

6-8 Hours Away

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

6 Hours Away

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

During the Storm

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

After the Storm

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Natural Disaster Resources

National Hurricane Center
FEMA