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Hurricane season is over, now’s the time to prepare for a Dare County winter!

November 30th marked the end of 2014 Hurricane Season. While the season has come to an end, Mother Nature will still challenge us with weather events before the start of the 2015 Hurricane Season next June. The citizens of Dare County and all our visitors must remain ever ready for a weather related event. With winter rapidly approaching, now’s the time to review cold weather preparedness. Dare County, just like the rest of North Carolina, will experience unpredictable winter weather. Last winter we had snow covered roadways on numerous occasions as well as demanding Nor’easters that caused challenges.

“Winter storms can take lives just like a hurricane. They cause power outages, coastal erosion, flooding, downed trees, and traffic accidents that can have devastating impacts on our communities,” said Drew Pearson, Dare County’s Deputy Emergency Manager. In addition, Pearson urges everyone to take three simple steps to stay ready for any emergency this winter; “Having a plan, emergency supplies and access to the most up-to-date information will help keep you and your family safe this winter.”

Pay attention to the weather forecast and stay informed about potential storms. Sign up to receive email updates from Dare County Emergency Management at www.DareCountyEm.com. All residents need to monitor changing weather conditions by listening carefully to their National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio, local radio and television stations for storm watches or warnings. Real time traffic and weather conditions can also be found on the state’s free ReadyNC mobile app. The state’s Emergency Management agency makes the app available for both iPhone and Droid devices.

Winter Preparations

As a reminder during the cold winter months, don’t let carbon monoxide poisoning occur from improper heating. The colorless, odorless carbon monoxide gas can be deadly and is produced from fuel-burning appliances, generators and heaters. Without proper ventilation, carbon monoxide fumes will accumulate causing headaches, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea and dizziness. While preparing for winter weather, remember to always keep charcoal grills and portable camping equipment outdoors. Remember to keep generators away from the home. Never run a generator in the garage or other enclosed area.

Drive Safely, Use Caution

Snow and ice can cause hazardous driving conditions here in Dare County. Locally and across the region they can lead to occasional traffic delays. Keep in mind that road conditions can quickly change. When driving in winter weather, remember to:

  • Reduce your speed. With freezing temperatures there may be ice on the road that you can’t see.
  • Leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles.
  • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution since they often become icy prior to roadways. Do not push your breaks while on a bridge.
  • If you begin to slide, take your foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide. Do not push the brakes.
  • If you need to pull off the highway, set your directional lights to “flashing.”
  • Do not go out on foot unless you see a building nearby to take shelter.
  • If running the engine to keep warm, crack the window open to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never let everyone in the car sleep at once. One person should stay awake to watch for rescue crews. Tie a colored cloth to the antenna or door to make yourself visible.

Cold weather is coming to Dare County and it can quickly take a life so don’t hesitate to seek help at the earliest possible moment. If you need emergency assistance call 911.

The ReadyNC.org website provides information to help you prepare for winter weather as do many volunteer groups, municipality and county agencies. Get ready now to ensure the winter season is relaxing and safe for all.