Iredell County urges residents to be prepared as Florence approaches

  

Pictured above: Rainfall estimates for Hurricane Florence continue to rise as officials urge individuals to be prepared – Picture courtesy of the National Hurricane Center

PRESS RELEASE

Iredell County, NC – Kent Greene, Iredell County Emergency Management & Fire Services Director said the County is ready to respond to dangerous conditions that may result from the intensifying Hurricane Florence forecast to hit North Carolina Thursday and into the weekend. He also urged citizens across Iredell County to prepare for the storm and exercise caution. “If you have not already, this is a good time to update your family emergency plans and stock up on water, blankets, non-perishable food and other supplies before wind and rain arrive.”

Heavy rain and wind will enter the state early Thursday and could continue into the weekend. Flooding is likely, both flash flooding and longer term river flooding. Rainfall forecasts will continue to be updated as the forecast track is refined. There is too much uncertainty at this time to discuss specific impact to Iredell County, however dangerous conditions are possible Thursday-Saturday.

Citizens are urged to contact emergency officials only for emergency situations. Please do not call 911 or the Highway Patrol for road conditions, power outages, etc. The lines must remain clear for emergency calls. To check road conditions, please visit www.ncdot.org.

Greene urges all citizens to practice the following hurricane safety tips:

Before

  • Prepare your evacuation plan, including pets, transportation routes and destinations.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Consider building a safe room.
  • Stay informed! Listen to a NOAA weather radio or check local forecasts and news reports regularly.
  • Bring in all outside furniture, decorations, garbage cans, etc.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies.
  • Fill the bathtub or buckets with water to use for cleaning and flushing toilets.
  • Keep your gas tank at least 3/4 full at all times.
  • Keep your emergency supplies kit, including water, and copies of important documents, in a waterproof, portable container, in an easily accessible location. Visit www.nfpa.org/disaster for a detailed supply list.

Evacuate under the following conditions:

  • If local authorities tell you to evacuate, follow their directions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure, which are particularly hazardous no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an inland waterway. *If you feel you are in danger.

During

  • If you choose not to evacuate, stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors.
    Notify out of-area contacts of your decision. Close all interior doors and secure and brace exterior doors. Keep curtains and blinds closed. Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level. Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
  • Don’t be fooled by a lull in the storm—it could be the eye of the storm and winds could resume.

After

  • Be aware of flooding and tornadoes.
  • Stay out of flood waters, if possible.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • If you evacuated, do not return to your home until local authorities say it is safe.

Generator Safety

Downed utility lines, power company blackouts, and storms can all lead to power outages. Many people turn to a portable generator for a temporary solution without knowing the risks.

  • Generators should be used in well ventilated locations outside at least 5 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings. Measure the 5-foot distance from the generator exhaust system to the building.
  • Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.
  • Place generators so that exhaust fumes can’t enter the home through windows, doors orother openings in the building.
  • The exhaust must be directed away from the building *Make sure to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for correct placement and mounting height.
  • Turn off generators and let them cool down before refueling. Never refuel a generator while it is hot.
  • Store fuel for the generator in a container that is intended for the purpose and is correctly labeled as such. Store the containers outside of living areas.

For additional emergency preparedness tips you can visit www.ReadyNC.org or www.nfpa.org/disaster.

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