WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Rouzer sent an enewsletter update to residents in the 7th District this week urging them to prepare for Hurricane Matthew, as well as providing hurricane preparedness tips as the storm nears. 

“I have been in contact with our state and local emergency managers this week and continue to receive updates regarding preparedness efforts and impacts from the impending Hurricane Matthew,” said Rep. David Rouzer.  “Our four offices in Bolivia, Wilmington, Smithfield and Washington, D.C. stand ready to assist you.  I encourage those near our coasts to stay informed and continue to monitor the hurricane.  Meanwhile, any residents with questions or non-life threatening issues are encouraged to contact our office so we can help.”

While recent forecasts indicate Hurricane Matthew’s eye may veer east avoiding landfall in North Carolina, impacts are expected to be felt far from the center of the storm.  Residents and visitors in the southeastern part of the state can expect winds of 45 to 55 miles per hour beginning late Saturday morning, with some higher gusts possible. Heavy rainfall of eight to 10 inches is expected in southeastern counties with one to three inches of rain expected along the I-95 corridor.

In his enewsletter, Rep. David Rouzer encouraged residents, especially near our coasts, to take the following precautions while preparing for Matthew:

Before the storm –

  • Make a kit of emergency supplies for basic survival – including several days worth of food, water, clean air and life-sustaining items such as prescriptions;
  • Make a plan for what you and your family will do in an emergency – map out your route and don’t forget your pets and livestock;
  • Board up windows and doors, secure loose items in your yards or bring them inside;
  • Move your furniture away from doors and windows. Take photographs of your items should you have to file damage claims after the storm;
  • Fill your car with gasoline and pull out some cash in case banks and ATMs are temporarily closed;
  • Have plywood, nails and screws ready to cover windows and protect your home;
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your home;
  • Close storm shutters;
  • Turn off propane; and,
  • Obey evacuation orders.

During the storm --

  • Do not run water during lighting storms or enter flooded areas or touch electrical equipment if the ground may be wet;
  • If you’ve lost power for more than a few hours, turn off your range, toaster oven, iron and other items to ensure optimal safety for whenever power is restored;
  • Turn off air conditions and water heaters to prevent system overloads;
  • Make sure your generator is grounded;
  • Stay indoors and away from windows and glass doors; and,
  • Pay attention to public announcements to ensure drinking water isn’t contaminated.

After the storm --

  • Continue to monitor the NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for any updates on the storm;
  • If you are in need of food, water, clothing, cleaning supplies of minor medical care, please contact the American Red Cross;
  • Inspect your home for damage – take photographs of damage for future claims;
  • Discard any food or water that came into contact with flood water to avoid contamination;
  • Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges; and,
  • Check in with family and neighbors to alert them that you are safe from harm.

For updates on Hurricane Matthew, residents are encouraged to download the free ReadyNC or FEMA mobile applications for real-time weather updates, traffic and flood conditions, shelter openings and evacuation listings. It also includes information about what to include in emergency kits and where to report power outages in North Carolina. The FEMA mobile app provides National Weather Service alerts, safety reminders, locations of shelters and where to talk to FEMA in person. Users can also upload and share disaster photos to help first responders.

Both mobile apps will provide further information about disaster recovery assistance should it be implemented after the storm passes.

Those experiencing life-threatening emergencies should call 9-1-1.

Those wishing to contact Congressman Rouzer’s offices may reach the Bolivia office at (910) 253-6111; the Wilmington office at (910) 395-0202; the Smithfield office at (919) 938-3040 and the Washington, D.C. office at (202) 225-2731.

For more information about how to get ready for a hurricane and what to do during or after a storm, go to ReadyNC.org.  Follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook for the latest on Hurricane Matthew.