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Officials: Be prepared for severe storms

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Hurricane Isaias rumbled through North Carolina early Monday, and if southern Nash County feels like it dodged a bullet, authorities say now is the perfect time to talk about being ready for the next named storm.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. The National Weather Service is calling for an above-average season with at least eight hurricanes, so Isaias isn’t likely the last storm eastern North Carolina will see this year.

Middlesex Police Chief Mike Collins said folks need to be prepared for hurricane season by having canned food and plenty of water.

“I also tell people to draw a bathtub of water so if you lose power, you still will have some water for flushing toilets,” Collins said. “Always keep batteries around also. If you have use of a generator, it is a good time to make sure it is running and you have gas. My most important tip would be have a go-bag. A go-bag is a packed case that you grab on your way out the door, and that will help keep you safe and comfortable in the coming hours and days. Stopping to hunt for your medications or other important needs can cost you critical seconds in an evacuation. Pack a separate go-bag for yourself and every member of your household, and keep them stored in the same location. Everyone should have this type of bag all year-round, even in a car.”

Driving around after a storm isn’t a good idea, said Bailey Police Chief Steve Boraski.

“If you do not have to go out, don’t,” Boraski said. “Stay put until advised it’s OK to go out. There could be flooding or downed trees and power lines and it’s not safe to be driving around.”

Don’t try driving through standing water on streets, roads and highways, warns Spring Hope Fire Chief Travis Green.

Spring Hope Police Chief Nathan Gant said folks trying to drive through standing water are the biggest cause of problems during flooding.

“Always have a hurricane kit and make plans ahead of the storm instead of trying to get supplies during the storm,” Green said.