What you need to do before Matthew arrives

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Officials and meteorologists are warily watching Hurricane Matthew, which is a major storm that has the potential to hit North Carolina. The tips below will help you prepare in case the storm does reach us.

Before the storm arrives, figure out if you live in an evacuation area and know your home’s risk of flooding, wind damage and storm surge damage.

Before the storm reaches you, secure light, loose outdoor objects indoors, crank the refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings and take extra steps to secure windows and doors, including garage doors. If you’re in an evacuation area, review evacuation routes and leave plenty of time to pack and get on the road if necessary. Also, charge your phone and call friends and family to let them know where you’re riding out the storm.

During the storm, remember that windows could break, sending flying glass your way. Also remember that if the eye passes over you, conditions will be calm, but that the storm will return to full force as soon as the eye finishes moving over your position.

A kit of emergency supplies is also a good idea. The kit should include:

  • one gallon of water per person per day, which can be used for both drinking and sanitation, plus extra water for pets
  • food for at least three days for people and pets
  • a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a NOAA weather radio with tone alert
  • a flashlight
  • extra batteries for all the electronics
  • a first aid kit
  • a whistle to signal for help
  • moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • whatever tools are needed to turn off utilities at your home
  • a can opener, if your food is canned
  • maps
  • a cell phone and charger
  • list of contacts you might need to reach — key friends and family, as well as government emergency services, insurance agents and so on
  • any needed prescription medications and glasses
  • infant formula and diapers if appropriate
  • feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • cash
  • copies of important documents in a waterproof, portable container
  • bedding for each person in case of evacuation
  • household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • fire extinguisher
  • matches in a waterproof container
  • mess kits, or paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • paper and pencil

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