News from Representative Rouzer

September 3, 2019

Dear Friend,

As our state prepares for Hurricane Dorian, included in this email newsletter is an update as well as various resources to assist you in advance and during the aftermath of the storm.

As of Tuesday, Hurricane Dorian is forecasted to be a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its closest approach to our region on Thursday with heavy rain, flooding, winds and possibly tornadoes.  The threat of storm surge is likely and inland flooding is possible.  High winds with the ability to cause power outages and widespread tree damage are also likely to occur.

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Up-to-Date Information:

Please visit ReadyNC.org for preparedness tips and the most recent updates on Hurricane Dorian.  I would encourage you to download the ReadyNC mobile app for information on real-time traffic and weather conditions, river levels, evacuations and power outages.

Evacuation Routes:

Please heed any evacuation orders issued by local officials.

To locate your best evacuation route, please visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation Evacuation Routes webpage.  In the event of an evacuation, it is encouraged to take designated evacuation routes, instead of back roads, as law enforcement officers and other personnel are typically positioned along major evacuation routes to assist motorists.  Back roads also have a greater potential of flooding or downed trees.  IF YOU COME UPON A FLOODED ROAD, DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH IT.  THE MAJORITY OF DEATHS DURING HURRICANES ARE THE RESULT OF MOTORISTS DRIVING THROUGH MOVING WATER.  Even if it appears to be shallow, moving water is powerful enough to push a car off the road and strand its passengers within minutes.  Be sure to use extreme caution, obey all posted warning signs and follow NCDOT’s guidelines for driving on hazardous roads.

For real-time information on events affecting travel across the state, please visit the North Carolina DOT Travel Information Management System webpage.

If you are asked to evacuate:

  • Leave as soon as possible;
  • Secure your home, lock windows and doors;
  • Unplug appliances, turn off electricity and main water valve;
  • If possible, leave with a full tank of gas and plenty of water and non-perishable foods on hand;
  • Pack your supplies kit, extra blankets and sleeping bags;
  • Take your pets with you; and,
  • Follow recommended evacuation routes.

If you are staying home:

  • Identify a safe room, an area with no windows, stock it with a battery-powered TV/radio with spare batteries, sleeping bags, pillows, snacks and water;
  • Secure your home, put away outdoor objects and furniture;
  • Fill bathtubs with water for non-drinking use (such as flushing toilets); and,
  • Wait until storm passes to come out.

Preparedness Tips:

In addition to taking the following precautions below, please continue to monitor local weather forecasts and news stations for updates as the track and severity of Dorian may change.

Residents in Southeastern North Carolina are urged to take the following precautions while preparing for Hurricane Dorian:

Before the storm –

  • Make a kit of emergency supplies for basic survival – including several days worth of food, water, clean air and life-sustaining items such as prescriptions;
  • Make a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency – map out your route and don’t forget your pets and livestock;
  • Gather important documents and take inventory of your property and belongings;
  • Board up windows and doors, secure loose items in your yards or bring them inside;
  • Move your furniture away from doors and windows. Take photographs of your items should you have to file damage claims after the storm;
  • Fill your car with gasoline and pull out some cash in case banks and ATMs are temporarily closed;
  • Have plywood, nails and screws ready to cover windows and protect your home;
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your home;
  • Close storm shutters;
  • Turn off propane; and,
  • Obey evacuation orders.

During the storm –

  • Do not run water during lighting storms or enter flooded areas or touch electrical equipment if the ground may be wet;
  • If you’ve lost power for more than a few hours, turn off your range, toaster oven, iron and other items to ensure optimal safety for whenever power is restored;
  • Turn off air conditions and water heaters to prevent system overloads;
  • Make sure your generator is grounded;
  • Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors; and,
  • Pay attention to public announcements to ensure drinking water isn’t contaminated.

After the storm –

  • Continue to monitor the NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for any updates on the storm;
  • If you are in need of food, water, clothing, cleaning supplies of minor medical care, please contact the American Red Cross;
  • Inspect your home for damage – take photographs of damage for future claims;
  • Discard any food or water that came into contact with flood water to avoid contamination;
  • Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges; and,
  • Check in with family and neighbors to alert them that you are safe from harm.

Essential items to have in your Disaster Preparedness Kit include:

  • Copies of your insurance papers and identification sealed in a watertight plastic bag;
  • First-aid kit;
  • NOAA weather radio and batteries;
  • Mobile phone and charger;
  • Supply of prescription medicines;
  • Sleeping bag or blankets;
  • Changes of clothes;
  • Hygiene items such as toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant;
  • Cash or checkbook; and,
  • Pet supplies including food, water, leashes, bedding and vaccination records.
  • Residents should review and update their homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies to make sure they include coverage for accidental damage, natural disasters and, if necessary, flood and windstorm insurance.

Emergency contact numbers by county:

New Hanover County Emergency Services -- 910.798.6900

Brunswick County Emergency Services -- 910.253.5383

Pender County Emergency Services -- 910.259.1210

Bladen County Emergency Services -- 910.862.6760

Columbus County Emergency Services -- 910.640.6610

Sampson County Emergency Services -- 910-592-8996  

Duplin County Emergency Services -- 910.296.2160

Johnston County Emergency Operations Center -- 919.989.5050

Wayne County Emergency Services -- 919.731.1416

Road Closures:

For road updates from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, please call 5-1-1 or visit their website here.

Disaster Assistance:

For the office of North Carolina Emergency Management, please call 919-825-2500.

For FEMA’S Disaster Assistance Hotline, please call 1-800-621-3362.

For the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, please call 1-866-645-9403.

For other questions and updates, please visit the website for North Carolina Department of Public Safety. 

Power Outages:

To report a power outage with Duke Energy, please call 1-800-419-6356

Here to help:

Our four offices in Bolivia, Wilmington, Four Oaks and Washington, D.C. stand ready to assist you.  Please call us if you have any questions or concerns.  You can reach our Bolivia office by calling (910) 253-6111; our Wilmington office at (910) 395-0202; our Smithfield office at (919) 938-3040 and Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2731.

If there is an emergency, please call 9-1-1

Sincerely,
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