This Hurricane Season Will be Busy. Here’s How to Prepare Before a Big One Hits North Carolina.

A waterfront dock shows damage following the effects of Hurricane Isaias in Southport, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. The 2021 hurricane season is off to a fast start. Here are some tips to prepare for any storms ahead. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

By Michael McElroy

July 14, 2021

In the first six weeks of the 2021 hurricane season, we’ve already clocked five named storms.

The 2021 Hurricane Season is already setting records, with five named storms in only six weeks.

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Forecasters expect the season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, to be more active than normal. Here is how to best prepare for a big storm, whether on the coast or in the mountains.

Make a Plan

The best time to plan for a hurricane is on a bright, calm day. Do it now, not while the water is rising. 

  • First, sit down with your family and decide where you will go if an evacuation order is given or if you don’t feel safe. If you are not together when the storm hits, make sure everyone knows the address and phone number of the place you are going. 
  • Staying with family or at a hotel outside the danger zone is better than staying at a shelter, especially during the pandemic.
  • Make a plan for your pets. Most shelters won’t take them. Make sure you know whether they are allowed at the hotel or spot you are going to.
  • If you have older adults or anyone with disabilities in your family, make sure all medications and devices are up to date and fully charged before the storm hits.
  • Put important documents like insurance cards, passports, wills, marriage licenses, etc in one place so you can easily take them with you if you need to evacuate or leave your home.


  • Make an Emergency Kit of all the things you might need. Keep it in one place and make sure everyone in the family knows where it is.
  • The kit should include: Face coverings / masks; hand sanitizer; a gallon of water per person per day; enough non-perishable food for up to 7 days; a battery-powered radio and extra batteries; a cell phone charger; a first aid kit; flashlight and extra batteries; a manual can opener; changes of clothes and sturdy shoes; fire extinguisher; cash; all prescription medications; toothbrush and other personal care items.
  • If you have an infant or toddler, make sure you have diapers, formula, bottles and other important items. 


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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