Governor Cooper declares State of Emergency ahead of Florence

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Saturday, September 8, 2018

As storms churn in the Atlantic Ocean, officials say folks should be prepared.

Governor Roy Cooper is asking that "everyone take this weekend to prepare for a natural disaster and create a plan for your family just in case." On Friday evening, Cooper declared a State of Emergency ahead of what is now Tropical Storm Florence.

He has waived all transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops.

"We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms," said Cooper. "It's too early to tell what impacts Florence may have on North Carolina, but it's not too early to prepare for this storm. North Carolina is getting ready, and I urge families and businesses to do the same."

September is National Preparedness Month.

The American Red Cross is urging folks to get their disaster kits together now and figure out an evacuation plan not only for yourself but also for your pets.

"What can you do to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem if a hurricane strikes the coast?" said American Red Cross Triangle Chapter Regional Director Barry Porter.

Many communities were caught off guard nearly two years ago when Hurricane Matthew pushed deep inland and pounded the area with heavy rain. Streets were underwater. People were trapped in their homes and there were countless boat rescues.

More than 20 people were killed.

"People don't always anticipate the size and scope of these storms. They are carrying large amounts of water," said Porter.

Officials are planning for Florence's possible hit on our state.

The Red Cross is going through its list of 850 volunteers to see who is available next week if needed.

Eighty-five trailers are already positioned out along the coast. In addition, different warehouses will have cots, blankets, shelter equipment, and meals.

The Red Cross is working to secure shelter locations.

"We're looking for resources and facilities. Where would we stage, where would we set up," said Porter.

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