Here's what you actually need to prepare for Hurricane Dorian

This is not the Labor Day Sale most North Carolinians have in mind.

Shoppers across the central part of the state on Monday visited supermarkets and wholesale stores to stock up on supplies in case of prolonged power outages and the loss of other utilities from Hurricane Dorian. In the Sandhills and by the coast, homeowners were thinking about protecting their home and their valuables.

"I think you need to be prepared for any eventuality," Keith Acree, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Emergency Management, said. "Rain could be an issue, flooding could be an issue, wind could be an issue."

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Indeed, hurricanes can be devastating in many ways, but the risks are different for people living by the beach and those living inside the Beltline.

Dina Stambler, who moved with her family from New Jersey only this summer, is drawing on her experience with Hurricane Sandy to prepare for Dorian.

"We moved with that generator," Stambler said. "We will get a gas can, we will fill it up. We hope this is just food for the week and there's no storm coming."


North Carolina Emergency Management encourages all families to start prepping for a weather emergency with a Family Emergency Plan, which should include discussions about what you will do before, during and after an emergency.

Families should also put together a basic emergency supplies kit which is comprised of many things that may already be in your home:

  • Special needs items for family members and pets, such as prescription medications, eye glasses, contact lens solutions, hearing aid batteries and means to transport pets
  • Three-day supply of food, including pet food that does not need to be refrigerated
  • Three-day supply of water, with at least one gallon of water per person, per day
  • Battery-powered radio or TV and extra batteries
  • Extra clothing
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Hand sanitizer or wipes and other hygiene items
  • Matches and waterproof container
  • Whistle
  • Cash
  • Kitchen items and cooking utensils, including a non-electric can opener and trash bags
  • Copies of credit cards, identification cards and medical and veterinary records
  • Items for infants, such as formula, diapers and bottles
  • Maps and emergency contact numbers, including those for doctors and veterinarians
  • Other special items that your family might need


Preparing for the aftermath of the storm is perhaps as important -- and valuable -- as withstanding the storm.

High winds, storm surges, fallen trees and other issues could lead to property damage, which could then lead to a lengthy process of filing insurance claims.

NC Emergency Management lists the following tips as ways to save your family time and money after an emergency:

  • Collect copies of key papers and records.
  • Keep them in both a safety deposit box and waterproof container with your emergency kit. Having these papers in one place will help if you need to sign up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Be sure to have copies of:

  • Birth certificate/adoption certificates
  • Marriage license/divorce papers
  • Social security cards
  • Passport/Green card
  • Will
  • Insurance Policies (home, auto, life, health, etc.)
  • Bank Statements

Take photos or video of your personal belongings for insurance reasons. According to the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, creating a digital or paper inventory will allow residents to quickly and easily report damage or losses in the wake of a storm. An inventory should record a complete list of your home's contents. When possible, include receipts, descriptions, estimated value and photos or videos using your smartphone. After the inventory is completed, be sure you have multiple ways to access it, for example, by storing a copy in the cloud, emailing it to yourself or sharing it with a friend or relative outside of the storm area.
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