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Being Prepared For A Hurricane

Hurricane Ready

STAY INFORMED OF EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS: Public safety officials use timely and reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

  • Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications on your phone or email from Pender County by CLICKING HERE
  • Download the READYNC app for an all-in-one FREE tool for emergency preparedness
  • Receive alerts and warnings directly from the National Weather Service, for all hazards, with a NOAA Weather Radio. For more information, visit
  • Keep up with the status of a hurricane headed your way by visiting the National Hurricane Center website, or watching your local weather forecast.
  • Get the latest from Pender County Emergency Management
  • Visit for more information on staying informed of severe weather conditions.
  • For instructions on how to sign up for flooding alerts with the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network (FIMAN) click on this link (instructions) for simple step by step instructions. Alerts will be generated for each selected upstream river gage of interest (Black River, Northeast Cape Fear River, etc.).

    A Hurricane Watch is where hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.

    Steps to take when a Hurricane Watch is issued:

  • Stay informed of the latest information and updates from TV stations, radio, cell phone apps, etc.
  • Review your emergency plans
  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
  • Confirm a location of an emergency shelter.
  • Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
  • Get cash from bank or ATM
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.

    Hurricane Warning

  • Remember, this is the time to double check your supplies, your property, and your plans.


A Hurricane Warning is where hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. Steps to take when a Hurricane Warning is issued:

36 hours before storm arrives:

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes

18-36 hours before storm arrives:

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

6-18 hours before storm arrives:

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

6 hours before storm arrives:

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Sheltering in Place…


Pender County residents are urged to follow all evacuation orders and seek a safe shelter from severe weather.  However, if you decide to stay in your home during a hurricane event, please be aware that Pender County employees or emergency personnel may not be available to help you in an emergency during the storm.  This includes EMS, Fire, and Police services. There is also a high probability that utility services like electricity and water will be lost/turned off. During a hurricane event, roads could be blocked and any curfews in place will be strictly enforced.

If you stay home during a hurricane, please follow these suggestions to remain safe and unharmed:

  • Inform friends or family that you are staying home
  • Stay Indoors-If eye of the hurricane passes over our area, it is only temporary period of peaceful weather conditions. The duration of time within the eye varies from several minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the severity of the storm. The larger and more intense the hurricane, the bigger its eye. When the eye of the hurricane has passed, the winds will return from the opposite direction.
  • Prepare in advance and have enough supplies to last for at least 72 hours
  • Stay away from windows and glass doors-high winds associated with hurricanes can turn a small piece of debris into a missile able to seriously injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer.
  • Turn on your TV/radio/cell phone, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

    If You Must Evacuate…

    In some emergencies, local officials may order an evacuation to keep residents and visitors safe. You may be told ahead of time, as with a hurricane. Or, you may not have much time to leave as in the case of industrial accidents. Always follow the orders of the local emergency management officials.  Follow these guidelines when evacuating:

    • Stay informed-listen to local media.
    • Fill your car with gasoline. Take only one vehicle to lower the amount of traffic.
    • Leave early enough to avoid being trapped by severe weather.
    • Plan where your family will meet and go. Tell family or friends of your plans. A list of Pender County Shelters can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.
    • Take your family’s and pet’s emergency kits.
    • Take your pets with you, but understand that only service animals may be permitted in public shelters. Plan how you will care for your pets in an emergency now.
    • Bring key family papers.
    • Bring extra cash. Banks may be closed, and cash tellers may not work.
    • Follow recommended evacuation routes. Do not take shortcuts; they may be blocked.
    • Be alert for road hazards such as washed-out roads or bridges and downed power lines. Do not drive into flooded areas.
    • If time allows:
      • Call or email the out-of-state contact in your family communications plan. Tell them where you are going.
      • Secure your home by closing and locking doors and windows.
      • Unplug electrical equipment such as radios, televisions and small appliances. Leave freezers and refrigerators plugged in unless there is a risk of flooding. If there is damage to your home and you are instructed to do so, shut off water, gas and electricity before leaving.
      • Leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.
      • Wear sturdy shoes and clothing that provides some protection such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and a hat.

    Click here for evacuation routes in North Carolina. Click here for what to take to a shelter.

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