Short: Unpredictability of Recent Hurricanes Shows Need for Early Preparations

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Brian K. Short, director of emergency operations for Henderson-Vance County Emergency Operations, was on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss North Carolina’s upcoming 2019 hurricane season.

All week long, WIZS, in conjunction with NC Hurricane Preparedness Week, has brought listeners and online viewers hurricane safety tips courtesy Short and the Emergency Operations Center.

Short said now is the best time to prepare for hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30.

“It is never too early to make sure you and your family will be taken care of when disaster strikes,” Short proclaimed.

While the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to be slightly below average due to an expected weak El Nino effect, Short said it only takes one storm to wreak havoc on a community.

“It only takes one hurricane for your area to have a disaster with a lasting impact for months or even years.”

Short, who has worked with hurricane preparation and cleanup efforts for 29 years, pointed to recent hurricanes Florence and Michael as examples of how unpredictable storms can be.

“With Florence, the local area fared better than we thought; Michael ended up being a little worse than we expected,” said Short. “It goes to show that you can never let your guard down with these storms. You always have to be vigilant.”

Of all the safety tips and suggestions, Short believes the most important is to have at least a 72 hour supply of the essentials for all family members in your household, and to keep those essentials in a water-tight container.

Essentials include drinkable water, medications, eyeglasses, non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies and important home and health/insurance documents. With water, specifically, Short recommends three gallons per person, per day for three days.

Many people already have these items in their home, Short stated; it’s often a matter of getting all supplies together in one place and properly securing them against storm or water damage.

“If we are significantly impacted by a storm, we won’t be the only area nearby affected. If that is the case, Vance County and North Carolina resources will be spread thin and it may take at least that long [three days] for help to reach you. We ask you to be as self-sustainable as you can possibly be to protect yourself, your family and emergency personnel,” Short urged.

For additional tips on hurricane preparations and to stay up-to-date on the latest weather developments, please visit ReadyNC.org or http://www.vancecounty.org/em.

Smartphone users can also download a free app at http://www.readync.org/EN/DOWNLOADAPP.html. This app provides information regarding storm preparedness as well as current road conditions, local weather, power outages and storm shelters.

To hear the Town Talk interview with Brian Short in its entirety, click here.

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