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Hurricane Watch issued for Pender County

Hurricane Florence continues to approach the Southeast coast as a major category 4 hurricane. While the exact track of Florence remains uncertain, the likelihood of of life-threatening storm surge inundation, damaging winds and excessive rainfall across southeast North Carolina continues to increase. Life-threatening conditions will also continue in the surf zone on area beaches. The worst conditions are expected Thursday into Friday. Continue to watch the local weather and news, follow Pender EM on social media and media outlets.

Use Generators Wisely

PENDER COUNTY – Many Pender County residents are preparing generators for use during Hurricane Florence. Pender County Emergency Management and Pender County EMS and Fire urge residents to use generators with caution.

“The major hazards when using a generator is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager.

Electrocution and fire are safety hazards too, said Collins. “Don’t operate a generator indoors or inside a garage.”

When operating a portable generator, keep it in an open, outside area, instructed Collins.

“Do not connect the generator directly to your main electrical panel,” Collins said.

If a generator is installed incorrectly, power could flow into outside lines and cause injury or death to your family, neighbors and utility crews working in the area, Collins said.

To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.

Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator.

Following Hurricane Florence, Pender County could be left without electric. Residents using generators should use caution.

Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at and on the website If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.


Pender County to open four shelters during Hurricane Florence

PENDER COUNTY – The Pender County Office of Emergency Management (EOC) announced four shelters will open in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

Burgaw Middle School will open Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 4 p.m.

Cape Fear Middle School, Malpass Corners Elementary, and Topsail Elementary will open Wednesday, Sept.12, at 8 a.m.

“We are working with Pender County Emergency crews, Pender County Health Department, and the American Red Cross to open four shelters during Hurricane Florence,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager.

“Burgaw Middle School is the pet-friendly shelter,” said Collins.

Residents who bring their pets will need to stay in the Burgaw Middle School shelter. Pet owners are required to present rabies vaccination records. A limited supply of vaccinations will be available at a cost of $5 per pet. Residents need to bring pet food and water.

Here’s a suggested list of items to bring to a shelter checklist:

  1. Clothing for 3-7 days
  2. Pillows
  3. Blankets or sleeping bags
  4. Food and medication for service animal
  5. Daily toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, soap, washcloth, feminine hygiene products)
  6. Special dietary foods, infant formula
  7. Identification for each family member
  8. 7-day supply of medicine in the original bottles if possible
  9. Cell phone with charger
  10. Books, games and cards
  11. Family/friend/caretaker’s emergency contact information
  12. Written list of all medications with doctors’ names and phone numbers
  13. Glasses, dentures, hearing aids
  14. Medical equipment used on a daily basis (wheelchair, walker, cane, oxygen, catheters, etc.)
  15. Extra batteries needed for any medical equipment
  16. Adult diapers or children’s diapers and wipes.

Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at and on the website If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.


Governor Cooper Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration Ahead of Historic Hurricane Florence

Urges North Carolinians: “Get ready now.”

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today asked for a federal disaster declaration on behalf of North Carolina to ensure the state can get federal aid as soon as possible.

In a letter sent this morning to President Donald Trump, Gov. Cooper made the request for federal help due to Hurricane Florence which is forecast to hit the state as an unprecedented hurricane later this week.

With the latest forecast showing Florence bearing down on North Carolina and intensifying in strength, Governor Cooper today urged North Carolina residents, businesses and visitors to take the threat posed by Hurricane Florence seriously, plan accordingly and get ready now.

“The forecast places North Carolina in the bull’s eye of Hurricane Florence, and the storm is rapidly getting stronger,” Governor Cooper said. “When weather forecasters tell us “life threatening,” we know it’s serious. We are bracing for a hard hit.”

As the forecast becomes clearer, Florence poses three challenges: coastal storm surge, strong winds and inland flooding that inundates rivers and low-lying ground, Cooper said.

Florence is a rapidly strengthening hurricane that may make landfall between Southport and Wilmington as early as sometime Friday morning. Tropical storm level winds may be felt as early as Wednesday. The forecast shows the potential for very heavy rainfall across much of North Carolina.

“Florence is a threat well beyond the coast, so inland counties need to be ready as well,” Gov. Cooper said.

State officials continue to prepare for potential impacts from a major hurricane later this week:

  • North Carolina remains under a State of Emergency, declared by Gov. Cooper Friday. The governor also temporarily waived certain restrictions for trucks and heavy vehicles to help farmers harvest and move crops and livestock ahead of the storm and help utilities and other equipment be ready to respond if needed.
  • North Carolina Emergency Management experts are working today to place resources ahead of the storm. The State Emergency Operations Center was activated Monday at 1:00 PM, and NCEM is coordinating with the counties, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and key partners in the State Emergency Response Team which includes all state agencies plus utility representatives, private sector partners and volunteer agencies active during disasters.
  • Preparations are underway by N.C. Department of Transportation crews in all 100 counties in the state. The department has 2,166 employees ready for what Florence may bring and for the cleanup afterward. Those workers have 1,284 trucks, 1,086 chain saws, 147 front loaders, 219 motor graders, and 202 backhoes at their disposal. In anticipation of likely road closings from floodwater, downed trees and other debris, DOT has 2,877 barricades, 1,488 road closed signs and 2,853 high water signs available.

“We are working closely with the National Hurricane Center and FEMA and our other partners and leveraging that wealth of experience to ensure we can respond to any need,” state Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said. “We are also working closely with our county and SERT partners to ensure all resource requests are met. We ask the public to stay tuned to local forecasts and follow instructions from your local emergency officials and to have a plan for yourself and your family members, including your pets.”

North Carolinians are urged to use the next couple of days to get ready for the storm, including reviewing emergency plans and gathering supplies.
Tips for Emergency Plans and Supplies Kit:

  • Gather your emergency supply kits with enough bottled water and non-perishable food to sustain each family member for three to seven days. Include a weather radio, flashlight, extra batteries, toiletries, change of clothes, blankets or sleeping bag, rain gear and appropriate footwear. Also include cell phone charger, prescription medicines, copies of important documents, such as birth certificates and insurance policies.
  • Know your evacuation route, and find out where friends and loved ones will be and how to get in touch with them.
  • Plan for your pets. Gather supplies for your pets and put them in an easily-accessible container.
  • Prepare your home. Clean out gutters and clear property of debris that could damage buildings in strong winds.
  • Stay tuned to local news for the latest advisories from the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center (NHC), as well as state and local emergency management officials.

Download the Ready NC app or follow NC Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter for weather updates and to learn how you can prepare for the storm.

Pender County Emergency Managements reminds residents it’s time to prepare

PENDER COUNTY – The Pender County Office of Emergency Management (EOC) urges residents to use this weekend to prepare.

“The Atlantic is currently active with storms,” said Tom Collins, Pender County Emergency Manager. “This is the time to prepare. If you don’t have a hurricane emergency kit, this is the time to assemble one. Have batteries, plenty of drinking water, medications, cash, and propane in stock.”

Collins said the EOC has been updating its internal systems in preparation of a storm.

“This is the time to prepare,” said Collins. “We prepare, regardless of how the Atlantic storms track in the next few days.”

Collins said a checklist of supplies is available online at The app is free for downloading. Pender County residents should also sign up for CodeRed, a free alert system in Pender County.

“When preparing, keep in mind the items you need to maintain your health and safety,” said Collins.

Have the basic things in your emergency supplies kit:

  • Extra eyeglasses, hearing aids if you have them or have coverage for them.
  • Battery chargers and extra batteries for hearing aids, motorized wheelchairs or other battery-operated medical or assistive technology devices.
  • Copies of medical prescriptions, doctors’ orders and the style and serial numbers of the support devices you use.
  • Medical alert tags or bracelets or written descriptions of your disability and support needs, if you cannot tell someone about your needs in an emergency.
  • Supplies for your service animal.
  • Medical insurance cards, Medicare/Medicaid cards, physician contact information, list of your allergies and health history.
  • List of the local non-profit or community-based groups that know you or help people with access and functional needs like yours.
  • List of personal contacts, family and friends that you may need to get in touch with in an emergency.
  • Covered personal communication board, if you might need assistance with being understood.
  • If possible, extra medicine, oxygen, insulin, catheters or other medical supplies you use on a normal basis.
  • If you use a motorized wheelchair, have a light weight manual chair available for emergencies. Know the size, weight and if it is collapsible, in case it must be moved to another place.
  • Even if you do not use a computer yourself, think about putting important facts onto a flash drive for you to take with you if you need to leave your house.

Pender County Emergency Management will post updates on the Facebook page at and on the website If you need assistance call the EM office at 910- 259-1210.


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