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Severe Weather Preparedness

Types of Severe Weather Information on this page:

Flooding, Severe Thunderstorms, and Tornadoes, plus a section on the NOAA All Hazards Radio System



BEFORE A FLOODING SITUATION

Sometimes floods develop slowly and forecasters can anticipate where a flood will happen days or weeks before it occurs. Oftentimes flash floods

can occur within minutes and sometimes without any sign of rain. Being prepared can save your life and give you peace of mind.

Create a Communications Plan

It is important to be able to communicate with your family and friends in the event of a disaster. Whether it is having a specific person identified

to contact for status updates or a safe location to meet up with family members, having a plan in place will give you peace of mind if disaster

does strike.

Assemble an Emergency Kit

It is good practice to have enough food, water and medicine on hand at all times to last you at least 3 days in the case of an emergency. Water

service may be interrupted or unsafe to drink and food requiring little cooking and no refrigeration may be needed if electric power is interrupted.

You should also have batteries, blankets, flashlights, first aid kit, rubber boots, rubber gloves, and a NOAA Weather Radio or other battery

operated radio easily available.

Know Your Risk

Is your home, business or school in a floodplain? Where is water likely to collect on the roadways you most often travel? What is the fastest way

to get to higher ground? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time can save your life.

Sign Up for Notifications

You can be automatically notified in the event of an emergency situation in Macon County as well as other critical community alerts when you

sign-up for Code Red. Examples include: evacuation notices, bio-terrorism alerts, boil water notices, and missing child reports.

https://public.coderedweb.com/cne/en-US/692F85D5FF07

Prepare Your Home

If you have access to sandbags or other materials, use them to protect your home from flood waters if you have sufficient time to do so. Filling

sandbags can take more time than you may think.

Have a professional install check-valves in plumbing to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home. Make sure your sump

pump is working and consider having a backup. Make sure your electric circuit breakers, or fuses, are clearly marked for each area of your home.
Since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, ensure coverage by contacting your insurance company or agent to purchase flood

insurance. This must be done before there is even a threat of flooding as insurance companies stop issuing policies if there is a threat of flooding.

(i.e. an approaching hurricane). Many flood insurance policies take at least 30 days to go into effect so even if you can buy it as a storm is

approaching, it may not protect your investment.

Prepare your Family/Pets

You may be evacuated, so pack in advance. Don't wait until the last moment to gather the essentials for yourself, your family and/or your pets.

Charge Your Essential Electronics

Make sure your cell phone and portable radios are all charged in case you lose power or need to evacuate. Also make sure you have back-up

batteries on hand.

Leave

If it is likely your home will flood, don't wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have

pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.

DURING A FLOODING SITUATION

During a flood, water levels and the rate the water is flowing can quickly change. Remain aware and monitor local radio and television outlets.

Avoid flood waters at all costs and evacuate immediately when water starts to rise. Don't wait until it's too late!

Stay Informed

Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.

Get to Higher Ground

Get out of areas subject to flooding and get to higher ground immediately.

Obey Evacuation Orders

If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Be sure to lock your home as you leave. If you have time, disconnect utilities and appliances.

Practice Electrical Safety

Don't go into a basement, or any room, if water covers the electrical outlets or if cords are submerged. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping or popping noises --get out! Stay out of water that may have electricity in it!

Avoid Flood waters

Do not walk through flood waters. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock you off your feet. If you are trapped by moving water, move to the highest possible point and call 911 for help.

Do not drive into flooded roadways or around a barricade; Turn Around, Don't Drown! Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide many hazards (i.e. sharp objects, washed out road surfaces, electrical wires, chemicals, etc). A vehicle caught in swiftly moving water can be swept away in a matter of seconds. Twelve inches of water can float a car or small SUV and 18 inches of water can carry away large vehicles.


AFTER A FLOODING SITUATION

When flood waters recede, the damage left behind can be devastating and present many dangers. Images of flood destruction depict destroyed homes and buildings, damaged possessions, and decimated roadways. However, what you can't see can be just as dangerous. Floodwaters often become contaminated with sewage or chemicals. Gas leaks and live power lines can be deadly, but are not obvious at first glance.

Stay Informed

Stay tuned to your local news for updated information on road conditions. Ensure water is safe to drink, cook or clean with after a flood.

Oftentimes a boil water order is put in place following a flood. Check with utility companies to find out when electricity or gas services may be restored. Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of death after storms when areas are dealing with power outages. Never use a portable generator inside your home or garage.

Avoid Flood Waters

Standing water hides many dangers including toxins and chemicals. There may be debris under the water and the road surface may have been compromised.

If it is likely your home will flood, don't wait to be ordered to leave; evacuate yourself! Make alternative plans for a place to stay. If you have pets, take them with you or make arrangements to board them at a facility well away from the flooding danger.

Avoid Disaster Areas

Do not visit disaster areas! Your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.

Heed Road Closed and Cautionary Signs

Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!

Wait for the "All Clear"

Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until you're given the all clear by authorities. If you choose to enter a flood damaged building, be extremely careful. Water can compromise the structural integrity and its foundation. Make sure the electrical system has been turned off, otherwise contact the power company or a qualified electrician. Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to discuss the damage done to your property. If you have a home generator, be sure to follow proper safety procedures for use. You can find generator safety information at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/co/generator.shtm

Contact Your Family and Loved Ones

Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word.


TYPES OF FLOODING HAZARDS

Flash Flooding

Flash floods are exactly what the name suggests: floods that happen in a flash! Flash floods generally develop within 6 hours of the immediate cause. Causes of flash flooding include heavy rain, ice or debris jams, and levee or dam failure. These floods exhibit a rapid rise of water over low-lying areas. In some cases, flooding may even occur well away from where heavy rain initially fell. This is especially common in the western United States where low lying areas may be very dry one minute, and filled with rushing water from upstream the next.

There are many reasons that flash floods occur, but one of the most common is the result of copious amounts of rainfall from thunderstorms that cause flash flooding. This can also occur when slow-moving or multiple thunderstorms move over the same area. These sudden downpours can rapidly change the water levels in a stream or creek and turn small waterways into violent, raging rivers. Urban areas are especially prone to flash floods due to the large amounts of concrete and asphalt surfaces that do not allow water to penetrate into the soil easily.

Steep, hilly, or mountainous terrain produces rapid runoff and quick stream response, since the water will travel downhill at greater speeds into rivers and over land. Rocky terrain can exacerbate the development of flash floods and raging waters since rocks and clay soils do not allow as much water to infiltrate the ground. Steep, narrow valleys generate rapidly flowing waters that can quickly rise to considerable depth. For instance, a mountain creek that is usually only 6 inches deep can swell to a 10-foot depth in less than one hour.


River Flooding

River flooding occurs when river levels rise and overflow their banks or the edges of their main channel and inundate areas that are normally dry. River flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall, dam failures, rapid snowmelt and ice jams. The National Weather Service issues Flood Warnings for designated River Forecast Points where a flood stage has been established.

River flooding is classified as Minor, Moderate, or Major based on water height and impacts along the river that have been coordinated with the NWS and local officials. Minor river flooding means that low-lying areas adjacent to the stream or river, mainly rural areas and farmland and secondary roadways near the river flood. Moderate flooding means water levels rise high enough to impact homes and businesses near the river and some evacuations may be needed. Larger roads and highways may also be impacted. Major flooding means that extensive rural and/or urban flooding is expected. Towns may become isolated and major traffic routes may be flooded. Evacuation of numerous homes and business may be required.

There is an additional level of flooding known as record flooding. In many cases this falls into the major flood category, but it doesn't have to. A record flood is simply one where the water reaches a level higher than it ever has been recorded before. Therefore, record flooding can cause extensive damage or even no damage or other negative impacts at all.


Burn Scars/Debris Flows

In areas where wildfires have occurred, vegetation may have been burned away and soil properties may have been altered, leaving behind bare ground that tends to repel water. This is called a burn scar. When rain falls over a burn scar, the ground is unable to absorb the moisture, leaving the water to collect or run across the surface of the ground towards the lowest point. Wildfires are common in the western U.S.; however, wildfires occur in all 50 states, so this type of flooding is possible anywhere.

Without vegetation to hold the soil in place, flooding can produce mud and debris flows. When normally dry soil becomes overly saturated, it can reach a point where it turns to a liquid state and flows downhill, essentially becoming a river of mud. Mud and debris flows can destroy homes, wash out bridges and roadways, and knock down trees. They can also deposit large amounts of mud and other debris on previously clear surfaces, damaging or burying everything in their path. Areas where ground cover has recently changed dramatically, such as an area impacted by a wildfire, can be at a higher risk for mudflows.




Here is some general information on severe weather to assist you in becoming prepared...


Severe Thunderstorms, Tornadoes and Hail



  • Hail Season - Tips to avoid costly damage during hailstorm season.
  • What Causes Hail - The causes of hail and an overview of the trends of hail in the United States
  • What is Hail - How hail forms, its composition, and the difference between hail and other severe weather conditions.
  • Where Hail Forms - Hail is a global concern.
  • Hail Fact Sheet - Basic facts about hail and the destruction it causes.
  • Hail Facts - Random tidbits of information about hail.


All-Hazards Emergency Messages on NOAA Weather Radio

NWR broadcasts National Weather Service (NWS) warnings, watches, forecasts and other non-weather related hazard information 24 hours a day. During an emergency, NWS forecasters interrupt routine broadcasts and send a special tone activating local weather radios. Weather radios equipped with a special alarm tone feature sound an alert to give you immediate information about a life-threatening situation.
NWR broadcasts warnings and post-event information for all types of hazards: weather (e.g., tornadoes, floods), natural (e.g., earthquakes, forest fires and volcanic activity), technological (e.g., chemical releases, oil spills, nuclear power plant emergencies, etc.), and national emergencies (e.g., terrorist attacks). Working with other Federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System (EAS), NWR is an all-hazards radio network, making it the most comprehensive weather and emergency information available to the public.
Life-threatening weather emergency messages are alerted on NWR. Many of those same weather-related emergency messages are also broadcast via the EAS.


More Information:











North Carolina Station Table
Weather Forcast Office (WFO)

New Bern
Glenburnie Garden
162.400
1000
Newport, NC
Winnabow
Winnabow
162.550
1000
Wilmington, NC
Cape Hatteras
Middletown
162.475
1000
Newport, NC
Mooresville
South Iredell County
162.525
1000
Greer, SC
Warsaw
Duplin County
162.425
300
Newport, NC
Windsor
Windsor
162.525
300
Wakefield, VA
Linville
Grandmother Mtn.
162.450
300
Greer, SC
Henderson
Macon
162.500
300
Raleigh, NC
Mount Jefferson
Ashe County
162.500
300
Blacksburg, VA
Ellerbe
Richmond County
162.400
300
Raleigh, NC
Garner
Garner
162.450
300
Raleigh, NC
Buck Mountain
Badin
162.500
1000
Raleigh, NC
Margarettsville
Margarettsville
162.450
300
Wakefield, VA
Robbinsville
Teyahalee Bald Mtn.
162.525
300
Greer, SC
Mamie
Mamie
162.425
300
Newport, NC
Winston-Salem
Sauratown Mtn.
162.400
1000
Raleigh, NC
Saint Pauls
Saint Pauls
162.475
1000
Wilmington, NC
Asheville
Mt. Pisgah
162.400
300
Greer, SC
Chapel Hill
Durham
162.550
1000
Raleigh, NC
Rocky Mount
Tarboro
162.475
1000
Raleigh, NC
Charlotte
Spencer Mtn.
162.475
1000
Greer, SC




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