Tropical Disturbance: A moving area of thunderstorms in the tropics.
Tropical Wave: A westward-moving, low-pressure trough in the deep easterly current that tends to organize low-level circulation. It sometimes travels thousands of miles with little change in shape, producing showers and thunderstorms along its path.
Tropical Depression: An area of low pressure, rotary circulation of clouds and winds up to 38 miles per hour.
Tropical Storm: Counterclockwise circulation of clouds and winds (develops over warm tropical waters) with windspeeds ranging from 39-73 miles per hour. At this stage, the storm is assigned a name.
Hurricane: A tropical storm with windspeeds of 74 miles per hour or more, and dangerously high water and waves.
"Eye" of the Hurricane: The relatively calm area near the center of the storm where winds are light, and the sky often is partly cloudy. The calm area is deceptive because it is bordered by maximum-force winds and torrential rains; it can last from several minutes to more than an hour.
Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in sea level produced by the strong winds and low pressure within a hurricane. The storm surge occurs in the right half of the storm as it makes landfall. The storm surge potentially could elevate sea level from 2-20 feet. (9 out of 10 hurricane-related deaths occur as a result of storm surge rather than winds.) For more information about storm surge, visit
Advisory: Hurricane and storm information delivered to the public every six hours.
Intermediate Advisory: Hurricane and storm information updated every 2-3 hours, or as necessary.
Special Advisory: Hurricane and storm information delivered when there is a significant change in storm-related weather conditions or warnings.
Gale Warning: An advisory that 39-54 mph sustained winds and strong wave action are expected.
Storm Warning: An advisory that 55-73 mph sustained winds and strong wave action are expected.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement of possible hurricane conditions, for a particular area, within 36 hours.
Hurricane Warning: A advisory that a hurricane is expected to strike a specified area within 24 hours or less.
2014 - 2019 Storm Names
- Is your disaster supplies kit ready?
- Gas up your vehicles.
- Have your evacuation plan ready
- Secure loose items outside of your home.
- Frequently check on the progress of the storm.
- Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first-aid supplies,
- drinking water and medications.
- Store valuables and papers in waterproof containers.
- Secure your boat.
- Inform loved ones as to where you will be during the storm.
- Insure your weather radio is in working condition.
- Locate you local shelters.
Basic Emergency Supplies
The best time to assemble a 3-day disaster supplies kit is well before the storm hits. Many of these are common household items. Store enough supplies for at least 3 days, and if possible, for 7 days.
- Easy to carry water tight container (for all of your items)
- Water - 1 gallon per person per day along with a water purification kit or bleach
- First aid kit and first aid book
- Mosquito repellent and sunscreen
- Pre-cooked, non-perishable foods, like canned meats, granola bars, peanut butter, intsant soup, cereals, dried fruit, powdered milk, etc.
- Portable camp stove or girll with extra propane
- Non-electric can opener and waterproof lighter
- Paper plates, cups, utensils, paper towels
- Aluminum foil, oven mits, trash bags
- Baby supplies: formula, bottle, pacifier, diapers, baby wipes, etc.
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Blanket or sleeping bag per person
- Battery operated alarm clock, radio and/or TV with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Essential medications (& copies of perscriptions)
- Bar soap, toilet articles
- Toilet paper, feminine hygiene supplies
- Cash and change
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes and work gloves
- Cleaning supplies, hand tools, duct tape, rope, etc.
- Documents, backup disks of important computer files, medical history info, photo ID's
- Camera, books, games, cards, etc.
- Food, water, leash and carrier for pets.
Securing Your Property & Insurance
Some low cost mitigation measures you can take to protect yourself and your home from losses from wind and/or flooding:
- Analyze your home's structural weaknesses
- If you are building a new home, consider a hip roof with a pitch of 30 degrees or less
- Install storm shutters to protect windows
- Install braces to give additional support to garage doors
- Plant vegetation to serve as wind breaks
- Buy flood insurance (see below)
- Move valuables and appliances out of the basement
- Make sure that any flood-proofing efforts are in compliance with the minimum NFIP requirements, and with state and local building codes.
The North Carolina Dept. of Insurance offers these tips for maximizing your personal safety and minimizing your property & financial losses.
Homeowners should review their insurance policies with their agents.
Flood Insurance can be obtained by qualifying property owners by contacting your local agent or through the National Flood Insurance Proram: (800-638-7048)
The Beach Plan is a program designed for coastal property owners. It offers coverage for fire, lightning, wind, and hail. Obtain more information by calling: (800-662-7048) or visit http://www.ncjua-nciua.org/
Residents living in rental property should consider purchasing renter's insurance to cover losses of personal property within the rental unit.
If you evacuate, take a copy of your policy with you.
Additional tips for hurricane and storm preparation are also available at the Department of Insurance or you may contact the Consumer Services Division of the Department of Insurance toll-free (in state) at 800-546-5664.
Pets are not allowed in public shelters for health and space reasons, so arrangements need to be made in advance for your pets.
In the event of a disaster, if you must evacuate, the most important thing you can do for your pets is to evacuate them too.
Pets are not allowed at most hotels and motels in North Carolina, so emergency arrangements for them may require careful planning.
- Keep your pet's vaccinations up to date. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.
- Keep your pet on a leash with proper identification
- Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal...large enough for the animal to stand and turn around.
Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have:
- Proper identification collar and rabies tag
- Proper identification on all belongings
- A carrier
- A leash
- An ample supply of food, water and food bowls
- Any necessary medications
- Specific care instructions
- Newspapers or trash bags for clean-up
If you must leave your pet behind, prepare an appropriate area for them. Put the pet in a carrier in an interior closet or bathroom with plenty of water, food, toys and blankets.
This material is provided as a public service. Its purpose is to increase hurricane awareness. They key to survival is advance preparation!
When A Watch Is Issued
When A Warning Is Issued
Monitor storm reports
Make arrangements for pets
Store non-perishable foods
Store fresh drinking water
Protect glass openings
Buy materials for emergency repairs
Monitor storm reports
Leave mobile home
Prepare for high winds
Relocate boats on trailers
Check boat mooring lines
Store valuables and paperwork
Prepare for floods and tornadoes
Double-check survival supplies
If You Evacuate
If You Stay at Home
If you choose to evacuate, follow these tips:
- Take your disaster supplies kit
- Bring pillows and blankets
- Have a safe place to go
- Bring extra cash
- Enact your pet plan
- Bring important family documents in a waterproof container
- Secure your home
- Follow your County Evacuation Map
- Don't drive on flooded roads
- Follow officials' instructions
- Stay away from downed power lines
- After the threat, listen to local officials for the all clear
If you are not able to evacuate, it is best to stay in a shelter. In the event of a disaster there are shelters set up for those with special medical needs.
If you do choose to stay at home, follow these tips:
- Cover all windows and doors with shutters or other shielding materials
- Have extra cash on hand
- Have a weather radio on hand for frequent updates
- Follow instruction of local officials
- Stay away from windows and doors
- Go to an interior room on the 1st floor
- Have a family communication plan
- Remain indoors even during the eye of the storm
Portable generators are a good source of alternative power if an outage occurs, but they should only be used in emergency situations. An improperly installed or operated generator can be deadly!
More information on generator safety can be found here.
After A Hurricane
When a hurricane strikes, it often causes widespread power outages. Restoring power after a major outage is a big job that involves much more than simply throwing a switch or removing a tree from a line.
Our goal is to restore power SAFELY to the greatest number of people in the shortest time possible.
Stay clear of trees that may have fallen on power lines.
Remember, a power outage may effect thousands of other customers, so please be patient as we work to restore your power safely and efficiently.
More info on power restoration can be found here.
What to do after a Hurricane
- Contact local officials to see if it is safe to return
- Check with officials for a safe route to return
- Make sure your residence is safe
- Be cautious of downed power lines
- Follow all instructions of local officials
- Do not drink water until notified that it is safe
- Be cautious of spoiled food
- Take inventory of destroyed and damaged property
- Contact your insurance company
Responsibility for the cleanup falls to numerous local, state, and federal agencies. A local disaster coordinator/director or his representative will be on hand to help residents in this effort. But, in the meantime, help your neighbors. Recovery quickens with cooperation from all.
- Notify your insurance company
- Apply for relief with FEMA
- Protect property
- Remember, recover is a team effort
For more information about hurricane preparedness, survival, and relief, visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.