Warren County Emergency Services Director Dennis Paschall urges local residents to take precautions now to be ready for potential impacts from Hurricane Dorian later this week.
News reports over the Labor Day holiday weekend were filled with images from the Bahamas, where at least five people were confirmed dead as a result of the powerful storm. Dorian made landfall at the Bahamas on Sunday with winds of 185 miles per hour. The hurricane weakened over land, but remained stationary, pummeling the islands with strong winds and heavy rains.
According to the National Weather Service, Dorian was located just north of Grand Bahama Island on Tuesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. The storm was moving northwest at 2 mph.
Weather forecasts indicate that Dorian could brush the North Carolina coast later this week, meaning the potential that areas as far inland as Warren County could feel impacts from the hurricane.
Paschall said Tuesday morning that Warren County Emergency Services would be participating in two Dorian-related conference calls that day, and continues to monitor storm tracks as the storm moves closer to North Carolina.
On Tuesday, the National Weather Service website indicated that North Carolina would likely experience Dorian’s impact late today (Wednesday) into Friday morning. According to current projections, much of Warren County could experience winds of between 15 and 25 mph with gusts of 25-35 mph, with 1-2 inches of rain. However, eastern Warren County could experience sustained winds between 25 and 35 mph with gusts between 35 and 45 mph, and 2-4 inches of rain.
Paschall recommends that local residents listen to Gov. Roy Cooper’s briefings and download the ReadyNC app, part of the N.C. Department of Public Safety. The app may be downloaded through readync.org for information such as road conditions, power outages, emergency shelters and emergency kit preparation. Paschall noted that people should take their pets into consideration when gathering items for emergency kits.
Ready NC recommends that emergency kits should include the following:
- Water-1 gallon per person per day for three to seven days
- Non-perishable and canned food supply for three to seven days
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio, and weather radio with extra batteries
- Cellphone with charger
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Manual can opener
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- One blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine supplies
- Extra house and car keys
- Important documents (insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records)
- Fire extinguisher
- Cash and change
- Books, games or cards
NC Ready recommends that the following be included in an emergency supplies kit for pets:
- Canned or dry pet food
- Water for three to seven days
- Food dishes
- Muzzle, collar and leash
- Immunization records
- Identification tag
- Current photos of pets in case they become lost
- Pet’s medicine
- Pet beds and toys
- Pet carrier
Paschall said that even though Dorian’s track is uncertain, Warren County residents should take the storm seriously and be prepared for wind gusts that could down trees, causing power outages. He also warned people not to drive across flooded roads.
“Turn around, don’t drown,” Paschall said.