Public urged to prepare for hurricane season


The message comes after severe weather barreled through the area recently, and in advance of hurricane season which starts June 1.

In Pittsboro Tuesday, winds as high as 70-miles-an-hour ripped a tree from the ground.

Tornadoes in Onslow and Bertie counties damaged dozens of homes and businesses last week. Several people were hurt. Wednesday, Governor Easley declared a state disaster for both counties.

State leaders have some tips on how you can be ready when severe weather strikes.

The governor's office is focusing its attention on hurricane season and putting together preparedness kits.

Unlike the severe weather seen over the past few weeks, they say hurricanes are more predictable, which is why they say everyone should be more prepared.

State Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Bryan Beatty announced the state's annual warning, in advance of hurricane preparedness week, which begins statewide next week.

He is urging everyone to assemble an emergency kit with toiletries, batteries, flashlights, weather radios, non perishables and evacuation plans for the entire family.

"Put together your family emergency preparedness kit so that you can take care of yourself for three to seven days if necessary," Beatty said.

Leaders say flooding during Hurricane Floyd in 1999 taught them the lesson of how important preparation can be.

"Getting people out of storm surge areas and preventing them from having flooding problems, I think is a major concern for us and the evacuation of folks in hurricanes," NC Division EMS Director Doug Hall said.

It is why first responders says they have spent the last two days training.

This week more than a dozen agencies worked two mock scenarios around the clock --one a flood, the other a category four hurricane-- to get ready whenever severe weather really strikes.

"The state, city and county agencies are prepared to respond to natural disasters, but we're counting on each of you to do your part," Beatty said.

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