Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina: Determining your risk

Hurricane Dorian made landfall on southern Hatteras Island on Sept. 6, 2020. [NOAA image]

This week is North Carolina’s annual Hurricane Preparedness Week, and the National Weather Service and North Carolina Department of Public Safety are teaming up to bring hurricane safety information to residents and visitors.

“Preparedness week is a way to reinforce what one should do to prepare for each hurricane season,” said Erik Heden, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office.

“We will continue to stress that any tropical system is dangerous and don’t focus on just the category but all five impacts that are possible with any tropical system,” Heden said.

These include storm surge, flooding, strong wind, tornadoes and rip currents.

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North Carolina is one of the most hurricane ravaged states in the country. The entire state, from the mountains to the coast, is susceptible to hurricane and tropical storm impacts.

The coastal areas of the state can be susceptible to storm surge, high winds, flooding, and tornadoes.

The central portion of the state can be susceptible to inland freshwater flooding, high winds, and tornadoes; and the western portion of the state can be susceptible to tornadoes, flash flooding, and resulting landslides from heavy rains when dying tropical cyclones move from the northern Gulf of Mexico northeast along the

Even when hurricanes stay out at sea, the North Carolina coast can still be impacted by large swells and deadly rip currents, thus making it important to stay aware of the tropics and weather forecasts all throughout the hurricane season.

The most active months for tropical systems in North Carolina are August, September, and October. However, hurricanes have wreaked havoc as early as June and as late as mid-November.

The peak tropical activity usually occurs in a six week period from mid-August to late September. During active cycles in hurricane activity North Carolina can experience multiple hurricanes and tropical storms within weeks of each other.

When it comes to this hurricane season, it’s important to take appropriate preparedness action and encourage others to do the same.

An informed and motivated public will transform the way North Carolinians respond to hurricane seasons and, ultimately, save more lives and livelihoods.

Make a pledge to prepare for this hurricane season, complete an emergency preparedness plan, make or update your emergency kit, and be an example by sharing your preparedness story with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

For more information about hurricane preparedness, please visit the following web sites:

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