Emergency officials stress importance of personalize hurricane preparedness kits

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – While Tropical Storm Alberto did not impact Eastern Carolina, emergency officials say it’s a good reminder to always stay prepared and aware throughout this year’s expected busy hurricane season.

Hurricane season kicked off June 1st and Tropical storm Alberto formed last week and made landfall in Northern Mexico Thursday.

The storm brought heavy rains to the region and left at least three dead, according to officials.

Charlie Ironmonger, a WITN News Meteorologist says, ”This year, the importance has grown a little bit because we’re seeing higher sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic basin, the trade winds this year are going to be more favorable for tropical storms and hurricane formation.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal hurricane season in 2024.

James McArthur, Pitt County EMS Deputy Director says, ”Severe weather is always prevalent in Eastern North Carolina. We want people to be able to respond quickly to their own personal emergencies or family emergencies or things that happen in their community.”

McArthur told WITN that it’s important to have a personalized hurricane preparedness kit.

“Food and water, for 2-3 days. About a gallon of water per day and per person is what’s recommended but we know that most people may not have that so whatever you can muster up. Nonperishable foods, things that are high in fiber, canned goods or long expiration,” says McArthur. “Any prescriptions and other medications that people take. Some cash money, small bills in cash. When electricity is a problem, we know folks need to have currency. Glasses, blankets, clothing.”

McArthur also says it’s best to fill up your vehicle with a full take of gas when possible, in case you need to drive during emergencies.

Though hurricane season just got started, it’s always important to stay prepared.

“Usually we see our busiest time of the year—at least when most hurricanes form—late August into early September. That’s kind of the window where we see the most activity and the most danger, and the highest threat,” Ironmonger says.

Above all, McArthur says it’s vital to stay calm, prepared, and keep an eye out for one another.

For a full list of what to include in a hurricane prep kit, visit here.