Gov. Cooper urges awareness & preparation ahead of Ian

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – Gov. Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolinians to be aware of the weather and prepared ahead of Hurricane Ian.

Cooper says it’s time for all state residents to be ready, as the storm can be dangerous and even deadly.

Tornadoes are possible statewide, and people need to be ready for power outages, according to Cooper.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reiterates that people should prepare for power outages and possible flooding from the storm. Cooper declared a State of Emergency Wednesday.

People are cautioned against using gasoline-powered generators or tools, outdoor grills, and camp stoves in enclosed spaces. These devices should be used outside only and at least 20 feet away from windows, doors and air vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Excessive rains and flooding can cause water in your private well to become contaminated, which can cause illness if it is consumed or comes into contact with the skin. Flooding can also cause problems with septic tanks leading to contamination with human sewage. DHHS released these steps to properly prepare your well ahead of time.

Leaders also encourage you to take steps to avoid injuries from wind or flooding, including the following:

  • Do not walk in, play in or drive through flooded areas (Turn around. Don’t drown). Flood water contains hidden hazards and may be deeper and faster moving than it appears. Wear shoes at all times.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • If you get a cut or puncture wound, get a tetanus booster shot if you have not had one in the past 5 years.
  • Standing waters are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Use insect repellant, long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes, if possible. Empty standing water from containers inside and outside the home.

Emergency Management Director William Ray says he is not anticipating widespread power outages and people should not expect widespread evacuations. However, coastal counties should know their zone to know if they live in a predetermined evacuation zone. That can be found here.

People who do not have an emergency preparation kit can find out how to assemble one here.

More information on how to safely prepare for storms and for recovery after storms can be found here.

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