Congressman Butterfield Urges North Carolinians to Prepare for Hurricane Irene

Aug 25, 2011
Press Release


Wilson, NC – Following a conference call today with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Congressman G. K. Butterfield again urges North Carolinians to prepare for Hurricane Irene which could make landfall in North Carolina as early as this Saturday. 

“Eastern North Carolinians should expect very strong winds, torrential rain, and possible flooding as a result of this storm,” said Butterfield.  “I strongly encourage people to take precautions and proactively prepare for Hurricane Irene.”

The following tips should help in preparations:

  • Have emergency supplies such as water, flashlights, radios, extra batteries, medicine, cash and other critical items stashed away beforehand.
  • Have a plan for how you and your family will stay safe, how you will evacuate if necessary and where you might go.  Also consider who else you might need to check on during an emergency.
  • Stay informed during the emergency through news reports and official information. 

If severe weather is expected, take these steps to prepare for possible outages:

Preparing for the storm

  • Read the hurricane evacuation guidelines available at the North Carolina Department of Transportation website: https:/
  • Develop an emergency plan that addresses any special medical needs you have. 
  • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio, multiple flashlights and a battery-operated clock and fan, along with extra batteries.
  • Have at least three gallons of fresh water per person on hand. This is especially important for those who rely on well water.
  • Have a good supply of canned and other non-refrigerated foods available.
  • If you have pets, make sure you have provided for them, as well.

During the storm, if electricity is interrupted

  • Turn off major appliances such as heat pumps, water heaters and stoves. Unplug other appliances such as TVs, stereos, microwaves and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and possible overloads to the company’s system when power is restored.
  • Post a list of contents on your freezer door to minimize the number of times you open it.
  • Leave oe lamp or light on so you will be able to recognize when power is restored.
  • If using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, ensure that the area is adequately ventilated.

After the storm

  • Listen to your local radio station on your car or battery-powered radio for regular news and weather updates.
  • Stay away from fallen wires, flooded areas and debris.  Treat all fallen wires and anything touching them as though they are energized.
  • Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home or in an enclosed space, such as a garage.
  • Do not connect portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home.  Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator using the proper-sized extension cords.
  • Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.

Some useful links for the public and media during the summer storm season: