Facing the most dangerous hurricane on record, NC Governor Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina. While the exact path is uncertain, meteorologists predict Irma will move into the Carolinas between Sept 12-15. It will likely hit with a strong wind field and heavy rainfall, which could have devastating effects. AARP North Carolina advises its members to heed these five items to act on as soon as possible:
- Enough medicine, but not too much. If the power goes off or roads are blocked, pharmacies and package delivery services may be shut down, too. Have enough medicine for the next 10-14 days, and get prescriptions re-authorized if necessary. With one out of two people age 50+ managing chronic conditions, having medicines available can be life-saving. And keep your medicines in a watertight bag within easy access in case you need to evacuate.
- Have any equipment labeled. In the event you have to evacuate, have a easy-to-carry (consider wheeled) container or bag available, and make sure it has an ID label. Label any equipment, such as wheelchairs, canes, walkers, or medical equipment that you would need. AND, remember to securely put a tag on your pet – and not rely on an embedded microchip.
- Have emergency communications items. Keep it simple: a whistle, flashlight and radio with extra batteries (no candles!). About 4,000 people needed to be rescued two weeks ago when Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston area.
- Food and water. While obvious, make sure it’s edible without cooking, and doesn’t need utensils to open or prepare it. Consider 2 gallons of water per person per day, plus pet food and water.
- Personal Hygiene items. Soap, toothpaste/brush, deodorant, toilet paper, plastic bags, brush, change of clothes.
If the power does go out, report the outage immediately. For Duke customers,contact them with one of the following:
- Online = dukeenergy.com/outages
- Mobile = text OUT to 57801
- Phone = call 800.769.3766 (Duke Energy Carolinas); 800.419.6356 (Duke Energy Progress)
Take care, and help take care of your neighbors who may be in need.