Chatham County prepares for Hurricane Dorian

Pittsboro, NC – Chatham County Emergency Management leaders are keeping a close watch on the path of Hurricane Dorian as the storm churns its way up the Southeastern United States and closer to North Carolina.

Tropical storm conditions will affect central North Carolina, including Chatham County, and conditions are expected to deteriorate Thursday afternoon and evening. As of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, a Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for Chatham County and Tropical Storm Warnings and Flash Flood Watches were in effect for counties east of Chatham County. The threat for Tropical-storm-force wind/wind gusts is greatest across central North Carolina between 2:00 p.m. Thursday through 6:00 a.m. Friday.

“Chatham County Emergency Management continues to monitor storm conditions and impacts throughout our county as well as coordinate with our partners and stakeholders,” said Steve Newton, director, Chatham County Emergency Management. “Since we expect a reduced impact in Chatham County, we have deployed personnel and equipment to other communities in need. Chatham County and its municipalities currently have personnel at a North Carolina Emergency Management Regional Coordination Center, the State’s Regional Shelter in Durham and on the way to Chowan County.  We have deployed equipment to Edgecombe and Durham Counties.”

Know the difference between a watch and a warning

A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning means storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within he specified area within 36 hours. A Flood Watch is issued when flooding is possible. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is happening or will happen soon.

Residents should stay aware

In addition to monitoring local weather reports, residents are encouraged to stay alert through Chatham County CodeRED:  https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/600C00D297C7. Those who sign up will get alerts by text message when dangerous conditions are in the area. Participants can add as many phones as they like and customize the types of alerts they want to receive.

Residents should prepare

Being prepared for Dorian and other storms includes the following:

  • Have fuel for vehicles, tools, lanterns and other items.
  • Have a family evacuation and communications plan. Make sure family members know where to go if an evacuation is ordered.
  • If power outages are possible, fill bathtubs and sinks to have an emergency supply of water.
  • If high winds are expected, secure items like lawn furniture, bicycles or trash cans that can blow around and cause damage.
  • Make sure household insurance coverage is up to date and what is covered and not covered.
  • Be sure to test generators safely in advance of any bad weather.
  • Have cash on hand in case credit card payment systems are down in stores.

Have important supplies on hand before they disappear from the shelves:

  • Extra batteries and fuel for vehicles, lanterns, cell phones, radios and other necessary items (test batteries in advance)
  • Emergency lighting, such as lanterns and flashlights
  • Battery or solar-powered radios
  • First aid kid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit with bandages and antiseptics
  • A week’s worth of prescription medications and other needed health supplies for all family members, including pets
  • Insect repellent
  • For those with babies, disposable diapers

Important food supplies include:

  • A three to five-day supply of bottled water (one gallon per day per person)
  • Nonperishable food, such as canned goods, granola bars, soup mixes, cereals, canned or boxed juices, peanut butter
  • For people with babies, canned or bottled baby foods, formula and juices
  • Any special dietary items your family needs
  • Food and water for pets
  • Manual can opener
  • Outdoor grill for heating food
  • Disposable dishes and utensils

You can also find additional information on the hurricane at the NC Department of Public Safety web site:  www.ncdps.gov/dorian2019