While it is still too early to tell how Hurricane Irma will impact North Carolina, it’s never too early to prepare.
Here are some emergency resources for the greater Charlotte area.
Important Local Sites
Gaston County Emergency Management: www.gastongov.com/government/departments/emergency_management/index.php. Phone: 704-866-3004. Its Facebook page is www.facebook.com/GastonCountyEmergencyManagement/.
Iredell County Emergency Management: www.ncemplans.us/iredell/default.htm. Phone: 704-878-5353
Union County Emergency Management: www.co.union.nc.us/departments/public-safety/emergency-management Phone: 704-283-3550.
Rowan County Emergency Services: www.rowancountync.gov/198/Emergency-Services. Phone: 704-216-8900. Rowan County also provides updates on Twitter at @RowanCountyES and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RowanCountyEmergencyServices/.
Cabarrus County Emergency Management: www.cabarruscounty.us/government/departments/emergency-management/Pages/default.aspx. Phone: 704-920-2143. Follow tweets from the county at @CabarrusCounty.
Catawba County Emergency Services: www.catawbacountync.gov/EmergencyServices/WhatIsEM.asp. Phone: 828-465-8989. Get Twitter updates by following @catcoem.
Duke Energy: Power outages can be reported and viewed at www.duke-energy.com/outages. You can also call 800-769-3766 to report an outage.
State and National Sites
North Carolina Emergency Management: https://www.ncdps.gov/Our-Organization/Emergency-Management. Phone: 919-825-2500. Follow the agency’s tweets at @NCEmergency and the agency’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/NCEmergency
Weather Sites and Apps
You can follow weather updates from the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov/. The weather service’s office in Greer, S.C., provides weather updates for the Charlotte area, and can be viewed at www.weather.gov/gsp/. The office also regularly provides weather updates through Twitter at @NWSGSP.
For Irma’s track, check out the National Hurricane Center’s site at www.nhc.noaa.gov/, or the Weather Channel’s site at www.weather.com/ for regular updates. The Weather Channel also has an app for updates.
Officials urged North Carolinians on Tuesday to download the ReadyNC app. The app works on both iPhone and Android phones. It provides real-time weather conditions and shows nearby shelters, among other resourceful information.
During A Storm
If Irma does impact North Carolina, it’s important to know what to do during a storm, particular when watches or warnings are issued.
A tropical storm or hurricane watch means the conditions are possible within an area, according to the National Hurricane Center. A warning, on the other hand, means those types of conditions are expected in that area.
During a watch, you should review your evacuation plan for if a warning is issued. If a warning is issued, the National Hurricane Center urges people to leave the area if officials direct them to.
To prepare for a hurricane, www.ready.gov urges you to build a disaster kit that includes items like water, food, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, first aid kit and additional batteries.
Food should last at least three days and contain non-perishable items. Water should also last three days and families should have one gallon of water per person.
It’s helpful to prepare your car in advance of the storm as well. That includes keeping a full gas tank and preparing an emergency car kit, including items like jumper cables and a car cell phone charger.
LaVendrick Smith; 704-358-5101; @LaVendrickS