NCDPS Secretary Encourages Preparedness at the Start of Hurricane Season

DPS Secretary Hooks standing beside a flooded road
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - 8:40am

The following message is from North Carolina Department of Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks.

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The heavy rains that drenched parts of North Carolina this week and resulted in severe flooding to different areas are an all too familiar reminder of the importance of making sure you and your family are prepared in case of an emergency. June also marks the official start to another hurricane season and as so many of us have experienced first-hand, it only takes one storm to do serious damage.

At the Department of Public Safety, our number one priority is helping ensure public safety across a broad spectrum of natural disasters and man-made events. This hurricane season, we continue to urge families not to postpone preparing for an emergency until a possible hurricane is in the forecast. Make time now to discuss your emergency plans, review your homeowners and renters insurance policies, and update your emergency supplies. 

An emergency supply kit should contain enough supplies not just to get through the storm, but for the potentially lengthy aftermath. Make sure to have enough non-perishable food and water to last each family member three to seven days. Other essential items include:

  • Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for 3 to 7 days
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with extra batteries
  • Cell phone with charger
  • First aid kit and first aid book
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel

An entire list of suggested items to have in your kit can be found at ReadyNC. I remind everyone about the critical need for people to prepare themselves and their families now for emergencies – not just for the storm itself but for the days to follow. 

The most dangerous threat from hurricanes and tropical storms is flooding and storm surge. The storm doesn’t even have to be classified as a tropical system to cause serious damage. 

Other steps to take now during the hurricane season:

  • Heed public safety alerts 
  • Follow the guidance of government officials 
  • Sign up for flood alerts from FIMAN, the NC Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network, to get up-to-the-minute warnings on potential flooding. More information on hurricanes and overall emergency preparedness can be found on the ReadyNC mobile app and online at ReadyNC.

Your public safety leadership team, which includes Emergency Management, the State Highway Patrol, the National Guard, ALE & SBI, Adult Correction & Juvenile Justice and more; stand ready with all or local, state and federal partners.

As I reflect on last year’s hurricane season, we experienced extraordinary collaboration between all levels and branches of government, faith-based organizations, businesses, and the media. Through the trials and tribulations, we saw North Carolina at its best.

What a challenge and honor it was for me as the State Coordinating Official to work with the Governor, our outstanding staff at EM, SHP, NCNG, and Corrections; FEMA, U.S. Coast Guard, the United States Army, and so many other organizations, to save and sustain thousands of lives. Bonded together by our humanity, we rolled out an unprecedented response to an unprecedented storm. The urgency of the moment was upon us and North Carolina lived up to the challenge. Though my hope is that we are not challenged like that again, we want everyone to be prepared regardless.