Before HURRICANE SEASON...
make your plans as to what you intend to do if a hurricane threatens. If you live on Topsail Island, in low-lying coastal areas, or in a home that may not be safe in high winds (such as a mobile home), you should plan on leaving your home. Decide now where you will go and how you will get there. During an evacuation, public shelters will be opened, but these should only be used as a last resort. If possible you should try to stay with a friend or relative or in a motel well inland. Whether you leave or stay home, plan on supporting yourself and family for at least 72 hours. The Atlantic hurricane season is from June to November, but the most active hurricane months are August, September and October. Pender County operates two information radio stations in the coastal portion of the county that provide storm information and updates.
- 1620 AM: Sloop Point and Surf City
- 1640 AM: Hampstead and Topsail Beach
- The Town of Surf City also operates a radio station at 1610 AM.
You should also prepare a Disaster Supply kit containing the following:
Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows, etc.
Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
Special Items - for babies and the elderly
Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
Flashlight / Batteries
Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
Toys, Books and Games
Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
Vehicle fuel tanks filled
Pet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash
If a HURRICANE WATCH...
is issued for Pender County, a hurricane is threatening, but not necessarily imminent. You should think about what you will do if a hurricane warning is issued. Fuel and service family vehicles, and continue to monitor radio, TV, weather radio, or the internet for official bulletins. If you plan on staying home during storm conditions, store up on bottled water and non-perishable foods. A hurricane watch means it is possible that the watch area may experience hurricane conditions in 48 hours.
If a HURRICANE WARNING...
is issued for Pender County, it is very possible that the county could experience hurricane conditions in less than 36 hours. Listen constantly to radio and TV and begin preparing for the storm.
- Prepare for high winds (brace garage door, lower antennas, etc...)
- Anchor objects outside (flying debris can injure people and property)
- Protect windows and other glass (board or secure windows)
- Boats on trailers: move them close to house and fill with water.
- Boats in water: check mooring lines and leave them.
- Store valuables and personal papers. If you evacuate, take them.
- If you have to evacuate, leave as soon as possible. If you wait too long, driving conditions deteriorate and some county roads will flood very quickly.
IF YOU STAY HOME...
during a hurricane, keep these things in mind:
- Stay indoors in an interior room or hallway.
- Close interior doors and stay away from windows.
- Monitor radio and TV for information from official sources.
- Turn refrigerator to maximum cold and open only when necessary.
- Turn off propane tanks.
- Unplug unnecessary appliances.
- Fill bathtub and large containers with water for sanitary purposes.
IF YOU EVACUATE...
know where you are going and leave early. It is best to evacuate during daylight hours if possible. Take all of your irreplaceable personal documents with you:
- Personal ID
- Insurance policies and property inventories.
- Special medical information
Take your most valuable possessions with you and secure your other valuables in watertight containers in high points in your house. Before you leave your home be sure to lock your windows and doors and turn off the gas, water and electricity. You may be away from home for sometime so you should take the Disaster Supply Kit with you.
If you can not leave the area or stay with a friend and must go to a public shelter, take: blankets or sleeping bags, flashlights, special dietary foods, infant needs and lightweight folding chairs. Register every person arriving with you at the shelter. Do Not Take Pets, Alcohol or Weapons of any kind to the shelters. These items will not be allowed in the shelters for any reason. These shelters do not have the comforts of home, but are available to anyone in the county. The following locations are primary shelters for Pender County.
- Malpass Corner Elementary School - US 421 at Malpass Corner Rd.
- Topsail Elementary School - US Hwy. 17 (three miles north of Hampstead)
- Burgaw Middle School - S. Wright St. in Burgaw
AFTER THE HURRICANE...
stay calm and be patient. Communication may be slow but the County will be working to assess damage and respond to emergencies. Do not call 911 unless you have a true emergency. Beware of outdoor hazards, guard against spoiled food and water, and take extra fire precautions. If floodwaters rise near your home take your family and leave while roads are still passable. Distribution sites will be set up in areas throughout the county for water, food, and other necessary items. TV, radio, and your local fire department or rescue squad, will have information on these items as well as other disaster information. Remember you're not the only one that will need help. The better you prepare and respond, the better off you will be.