Johnston County Emergency Management Officials encourage everyone to have an Emergency Kit on hand prior to the arrive of Hurricane Florence. Here are some suggestions on what you should have in your emergency kit, according to the NC Department of Public Safety:
- Water – one gallon per person per day for three to seven days
- Food – non-perishable and canned food supply for three to seven days
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio with extra batteries
- Cell phone with charger
- First-aid kit and first aid book
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Manual can opener for food
- Anti-bacterial hand wipes or gel
- Wrench or pliers to turn off water
- Blanket or sleeping bag – one per person
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Seasonal change of clothing, including sturdy shoes
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine supplies
- Extra house and car keys
- Important documents – insurance policies, copy of driver’s license, Social Security card, bank account records
- Fire extinguisher
- Cash and change
- Books, games, cards
Now is also a good time to secure any loose items outside, such as trash cans or patio furniture, and to trim trees that could fall on homes and other structures. Cleaning your house gutters may be a good idea as well.
Depending on how things unfold, many residents could be using generators later in the week. Our Inspections Department has put together some outstanding safety tips:
- Store your generator in a cool, dry area that’s easy to get to. Always keep a clear path to your generator to avoid running into objects due to low visibility.
- Never run your generator in a closed-in area such as a shed, garage, basement or your house. Generators produce carbon monoxide, which can kill you within minutes. Always use your generator in a well-ventilated area outside, away from open windows and doors. OSHA recommends a 3-4 foot distance on all sides and above the generator for ventilation purposes.
- Hooking up your generator directly to your electrical panel or your home is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. The power from your generator can back-feed into the power lines around your house causing injury or death to you, your neighbors or even utility workers. You can avoid back-feeding using two different methods: 1) use a transfer switch or 2) do direct hook-ups using drop (extension) cords from the appliances you want to use to the generator.
- Use caution when pouring gasoline into your generator. Turn your generator off and let cool for 15-20 minutes before adding fuel. Pouring gasoline onto a hot generator can cause fire.
- When using an extension power cord for with your generator, choose one that can handle the amount of wattage being put out by the appliance you are pairing it with. Periodically check the cord’s temperature during use. If it’s warm or hot to the touch, your wattage is too high for the cord to handle. Unplug immediately and choose an extension cord that can handle a higher wattage.